May 17, 2016

"Is Traditional Polling Underselling Donald Trump’s True Strength?"

Asks Nate Cohn (in the NYT):
Mrs. Clinton generally leads Mr. Trump by less in online surveys. On balance, though, Mr. Trump has about 2.5 more points in live-interview polls. He’s actually earning a smaller share of the vote in online surveys than in the live-interview polls — the exact opposite of what one might expect if he were being hurt by social desirability bias in live-interview polls.

So what’s going on? The main difference between the online and live-interview polls is there are vastly more undecided voters in the online surveys. In the live-interview surveys, there are correspondingly more supporters of Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump, with Mrs. Clinton apparently gaining slightly more ground....
AND: Here's a NYT article — "Donald Trump Borrows From Bernie Sanders’s Playbook to Woo Democrats" — that had me leaping ahead to the notion of Sanders one day endorsing Trump. Oh, yes, it hit me at this point:
Mr. Trump recently offered a taste of his coming line of attack on the campaign trail in Oregon, where he praised Mr. Sanders for highlighting Mrs. Clinton’s ties to the country’s largest financial institutions. “She’s totally controlled by Wall Street,” Mr. Trump said, echoing a Sanders rallying cry.

Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime adviser to Mr. Trump, said he expected the presumptive Republican nominee to grow aggressive on the banks. “Who’s been tougher on bankers than Donald Trump?” asked Mr. Stone, suggesting Mr. Trump could appeal to some of Mr. Sanders’s supporters. “He’s taken them to the cleaners. I think he has a healthy skepticism and deep knowledge of bankers and how they operate. He’s going to be tough on Wall Street.” Mr. Trump has said that “the hedge fund guys are getting away with murder.”


jr565 said...

Never Trumpers should look at these numbers. He's getting these numbers depite a huge contingent of Repubs saying they wont vote for him. if those same peopel threw their votes behind him, what would his numbers look like?

Remember, the primary goal is to defeat hillary.

David said...

Well, they hope not, but this is just something to write about even though nobody knows.

sinz52 said...

Why shouldn't Trump be on the same side as Sanders?

1. They are both running populist campaigns.

2. They have both attacked free trade.

3. They have both attacked banks and Wall Street.

4. Trump is the first Republican candidate for President who has dared to call the Iraq War a mistake and a disaster. (Which is precisely why the Bush family is boycotting the convention.)

5. On those issues, at least, Trump is running to Hillary's *left*.

sinz52 said...


I'm not against Trump just because I believe he cannot win. I would be against Trump even if I thought he could win.

My problems with Trump are these:

1. He is an ignoramus who doesn't care to *do his homework* and learn about vital domestic and foreign-policy issues.

2. He is completely unprincipled.

3. He advocates two kinds of policies: Some are fascist policies and the rest are just looney-tunes.

4. Unprecedented for a GOP candidate (or a Dem candidate in the last 30 years), Trump has made overtures to the bigots, anti-Semites, and fascists of the alt-right.

In short, I'm not sure whether it would be better for Trump to win or to lose. Unless I can figure that out, I think I'll just sit this one out.

tim in vermont said...

This is an exciting election. I think Trump should come out and say he will take public financing, you know, the way Obama lied and said he was going to, but mean it. Let Hillary twist on a spit over the flames of angry Bernie supporters when she says, "Sorry kids, but the grown ups that I sold out to say I can't!"

tim in vermont said...

3. He advocates two kinds of policies: Some are fascist policies and the rest are just looney-tunes.

Please name at least one of each and label it, prepare to defend your work.

Michael K said...

Trump is running a populist campaign so far.

The GOPe was afraid of Reagan, as everyone forgets.

Now, he is meeting with Kissinger to cover that base.

The Iraq thing is to preempt that attack by the left.

I see the fundamental Trump agenda as fracking, trade negotiation, border enforcement, no undocumented Syrians and Fortress America. Defense buildup is part of that.

You know what that looks like ? Job, jobs, jobs, jobs.

Watch the construction unions and upstate New York fall in line. Pennsylvania too.

Political consultants had better be kept away from tall buildings.

Michael K said...

"He is completely unprincipled."

As opposed to Hillary whose principles are well known.

Writ Small said...

This proves Betteridge's law of headlines. That is, "Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no."

By comparing actual primary voting results with online and traditional polls, we know traditional polling is mainly accurate and online polling significantly overstates Trump's support. A drought of expensive, traditional polling since Trump secured the nomination means he now falsely looks more competitive. The "social desirability" theory plays into the feelings journalists likely have towards Trump, but there is virtually zero polling or voting evidence to support it. Are the Trump supporters you know shy about their support?

In truth, the dynamics of the race have not suddenly changed in Trump's favor. Hillary's lead is still there, but there is plenty of time for Trump to turn that around.

campy said...

The media publish polls in order to influence opinion, not reflect it.

khesanh0802 said...

@ sinz52 You are free to have all the problems with Trump you wish, but I must take a small exception to your bullet points.
1. Trump is not an ignoramus. He's a smart guy who has held his own in the business world with his winners outnumbering his losers. Here is his position page. It is not all encompassing, but a good start. One does not need to have nuts and bolts knowledge of issues to set goals and objectives. Can Jeff Immelt of GE design and build a jet engine? No, but he knows how to put together an organization that can. That's what CEOs do.
2. What proof do you have that he is unprincipled? Sure he changes some positions and he adapts to his audience. If you read Scott Adams you will see that he is convinced that these are signifiers of Trump understanding the principles of persuasion. Again a job CEOs do.
3. See his position page. I see nothing that is vaguely fascist there. Because you don't agree with him does not mean his ideas are "looney-tunes".
4. What appeals has he made to bigots, etc.? Some of his supporters may fit your description, but no more so than the looney lefties that support Bernie and Hillary. Hillary actually puts totalitarian tactics into use (see the NV convention reference on this blog).

You don't like the guy. Okay. I can buy that. I do not doubt that your dislike is visceral. You bullet points certainly indicate that your dislike is not rational.

AprilApple said...

Whatever it takes to end the Clinton reign of corruption. DO. IT.

glenn said...

""Is Traditional Polling Underselling Donald Trump’s True Strength?""


Because if you are a conservative and a total stranger calls you and wants you to "take a survey" and you saw what the Dems tried to pull in Wisconsin you have to be an idiot to respond honestly.

Hagar said...

Hillary! is losing to Sanders in Kentucky with 96% of the votes in and I understand Oregon is considered a shoe-in for Sanders.

Hillary! may eke out a delegate majority over Sanders (plus the super-delegates, of course), but she'll come across the finish line with Bernie still firmly attached to her left ankle.

She is not going to look that good against Trump in the general election.

Josephbleau said...

Vote for Chtulhu, why choose the lesser evil!

tim maguire said...

Republicans should own the crony capitalism issue. Given that that is half Sander's message and all of the realistic part, many Sanders supporters should be ripe for the picking. As for Sanders' other issues and the possibility of him backing Trump, that would be in response to the non-Republican aspects of The Donald.

Chuck said...

Trump has indeed taken banks to the cleaners. Four bankruptcies is one way to do that.

I wonder what banker would agree to enter a room in which Donald Trump sat, wanting to make a "deal." We might know a bit more about Trump's own credit worthiness, if he released his last ten years' tax returns.

Peter said...

"Traditional polling" died with the landline telephone.

In-person interviews are too costly to use with large sample sizes; also, it's difficult to obtain representative samples to begin with and impossible if/when too many in the sample decline to be interviewed.

And, yes, considering that Trump and his supporters have been derided as racist, bigoted, ignorant (etc.) it's surely possible that some who will vote for Trump can be expected not to reveal that in an interview.

khesanh0802 said...

Chuck Who do you think is funding Trump's projects - Santa Claus?

Do you know the outcome of the bankruptcies? Who took how big a hair cut? Were the conditions satisfactory to both sides? You do realize that it is likely that Trump took the biggest hit on his bankruptcies since he was in the equity position. It is unlikely the banks got taken to the cleaners. In fact "In New York, Donald Trump’s bankruptcy history is limited to the Plaza, where in 1993 he surrendered a 49 percent stake and control of the hotel’s operations to Citibank and five other lenders, as part of a bankruptcy plan approved in court." (From The Real Deal 4/29/16 by Will Parker). Ouch!

Since those bankruptcies you mention Trump has continued to complete projects most likely financed by the banks. Certainly it's not the Feds.

Tax returns. A straw man. Unless one is a CPA who specializes in real estate it is unlikely the average guy will be able to decipher them.