An unconventional technique found Trump’s “hidden” support.
In a pre-election poll, the Trafalgar Group conclude that Trump had hidden support from an additional 3 percent to 9 percent of voters who didn’t want to reveal their true opinions to pollsters.
The company is betting its future by publicly testing — at its own expense — its own methods.
Trafalgar’s CEO Robert Cahaly says:
“On Wednesday, I’m either going to be guy who got it right, or nobody is going to listen to me anymore.”
Trafalgar’s polls are unconventional, designed to capture opinions from people who otherwise avoid lengthy interviews on the phone.
Here’s how they do it …
Polling is difficult under normal circumstances, and it is especially difficult when many people are reluctant to declare their positions in a controversial election.
Trafalgar keeps questionnaires limited to a minute or two, relies mostly on computer-delivered phone questionnaires and probes for hidden preferences by asking people who their neighbors are supporting.
The question about neighbors allows respondents to present their preferences as the opinion of others, so minimizing possible fear of stigma or embarrassment for supporting a candidate like Trump.
The Trafalgar CEO said that the surveys were unusually accurate during the primaries, and also revealed hidden support for Trump.
The support was revealed when respondents were asked to respond to a computerized voice on the phone, versus when talking to a live person.
“We did live callers and push-button [telephone polls] and we determined there was always a 4.5 point bounce for Trump [with computerized polls].”
Whenever Trafalgar asked the neighbors question, the answers consistently show a hidden vote for Trump worth three to nine points.
Comparing Trafalgar’s to the traditional poll results revealed that the people most likely to hide their votes were women and college-educated professionals.
It’s Wednesday, and you’re the guy who got it right, Mr. Cahaly.