Trump May be Actually Leading Election Polls Because People are Hesitant to Say They Support Him

His new slogan should be Make America America Again (MAAA for short, pronounced like the sound sheep make.)

It turns out that after all of the attacks on Trump supporters — after all of the people censored, fired, beaten and shot in the street for supporting their president — people may be reluctant to say they support Trump.

This shocking finding worries a team of Jewish researchers, because it would mean that Big Bad Orange could, theoretically, pull a Never Again 2016 again.


Lately, there’s been considerable debate over the accuracy of presidential polls. While recent polls show Joe Biden ahead, a number of pundits speculate that some Donald Trump supporters may be hesitant to share their true opinions when polled by phone. That hypothesis is gaining traction, leading some to argue that Trump may be leading despite what the latest numbers show. It’s also being fueled by the belief that 2020 will be a repeat of the 2016 election, when Trump polled poorly in advance of the election, but still went on to win the Electoral College vote.

Despite the current debate on whether there are segments of Trump (or Biden) backers reticent to express their true opinions in phone polls, there’s been little empirical investigation into if the phenomenon actually exists. Pundits on major broadcast and cable news networks, such as Fox News and CNN, continue to speculate on the potential impact of so-called “shy Trump voters” on the outcome of the November presidential election result.  In a recent article published in The New York Times, David Winston says the following:

“The idea that people lie, it’s an interesting theory, and it’s not like it’s completely off-the-wall. But it’s obviously a very complicated thing to try to prove because what do you do? Ask them, ‘Are you lying?’”

On its face, a poll that asks people whether they lie in phone polls may not make much sense. After all, why would a person who lies in a telephone poll tell the truth about that in a different online poll? We here at CloudResearch reasoned that the issue may be methodological.

To explore this issue, we structured our survey to overcome shortcomings of previous polls. Instead of simply asking voters whom they will vote for — and then ask whether they just lied — we centered our research around a general question: “Are you comfortable in truthfully disclosing the presidential candidate you intend to vote for in a telephone poll?” Our rationale for this approach was that there’s a major difference between admitting you just lied and admitting to being genuinely concerned about disclosing your preferred candidate.

For the most part, we expected to find very few “shy voters.” After all, telephone surveys are supposed to be anonymous, so why would people be reluctant to share their opinions? However, to the extent people said that they were reluctant to express their voting preferences on a telephone poll, we were interested in their rationale for their reluctance. As a result, we included open-ended follow-up questions to better understand the factors that drive voters to fudge their responses.

11.7% of Republicans say they would not report their true opinions about their preferred presidential candidate on telephone polls.

In contrast, just 5.4% of Democrats say they’d be reluctant to share their true voting intentions — roughly half the number of Republicans reluctant to tell the truth on phone polls.

10.5% of Independents fell into the “shy voter” category, just a percentage point lower than how Republicans react to phone polls.

After asking about people expressing their true opinions on telephone calls, we then inquired about their preferred candidate. This ordering was important as we did not want to fall into the same trap as other pollsters who tend to lead with preference declarations. When we broke the responses down based on current Trump vs Biden supporters, we found the following:

10.1% of Trump supporters said they were likely to be untruthful on phone surveys — double the number of Biden supporters (5.1%) reticent to share their true intentions.
When respondents indicated that they were untruthful during polls, we followed up to confirm those responses, and then inquired as to why “shy voters” are concerned about sharing their voting intentions. Some example responses are below. These are just a representational sampling of viewpoints that we collected — sentiments not easy to gauge by responses to mere yes/no questions.

“I don’t believe the information would be confidential and I think it’s dangerous to express an opinion outside of the current liberal viewpoint.”

“Well I probably wouldn’t give my opinion period, but if pushed, I would not give my real opinion for fear of reprisal if someone found out.”

“Because most polls released to the public are slanted and aren’t scientifically based. So, they are messing with the results of the survey from the beginning by knocking down one party or the other. I’m just trying to right the ship.”

“I am hounded day and evening by phone solicitors.  They interrupt me all the time; sometimes my irritation takes over, and I don’t answer correctly.”

“My answers could be recorded so I don’t really trust such phone conversations.”

“I do not discuss politics — let alone with a total stranger on the telephone.”

“I don’t always trust phone call surveys. I wouldn’t want to be bombarded with phone calls and political mail.”

“I don’t want my opinion associated with my phone number.”

“I am less anonymous, and somewhat ashamed of my opinion as it is frowned upon.”

In General, “Shy Voters” Cited Six Concerns:

1. A lack of trust in phone polls as truly being anonymous.

2. An apprehension to associate their phone numbers with recorded responses.

3. Fear that their responses will become public in some manner.

4. Fear of reprisal and related detrimental impact to their financial, social, and family lives should their political opinions become publicly known.

5. A general dislike of phone polls.

6. Malicious intent to mislead polls due to general distrust of media and political pundits (though a sentiment expressed only by a few “shy voters”).

It’s weird to read about people being shy about saying which candidate they support in the country that is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave — especially if that candidate is already the president.

Something went horribly wrong.