There has been a considerable amount of media speculation about a secret Trump vote – you know, people refusing to admit they are voting for Trump and may be even lying to pollsters.
The idea of a hidden vote is not new – and it is not merely a theory. The concept was established in 1982 and called the “Bradley Effect.” Tom Bradley was the mayor of Los Angeles, running for governor of California. Pre-election polls showed him significantly ahead of his Republican opponent.
When the votes were counted, Bradley had lost. Post-election research established that an unusually large number of people did not tell the truth about their vote. Many of these folks did not want to admit that they were not voting for the popular Black Candidate. The anomaly was exacerbated by the fact that many of those conducting telephone polling had discernible Black voices. Voters were reluctant to admit they were voting for the White candidate. They feared it would make them look intolerant.
The current interest in a hidden vote that is not reflected in the polls surfaced after a Monmouth poll in Pennsylvania showed that 57 percent of those surveyed said that they believe there is a significant hidden Trump vote – and 27 percent believing it is a large number. Only 27 percent believed there was a hidden Biden vote – and only 5 percent believe it is a large number.
It is significant that those offering their opinions were NOT claiming that they, themselves, were a hidden vote for either candidate. They just believe that others were. Their opinions are uninformed at best or may be driven by political biases at worse.
Though the result of the survey is meaningless in terms of statistical validity, there is a reasonable argument to be made that some voters are concealing their voting intention – or are deceptive. Some believe that it was hidden voters that created the upset election of 2016 – and a victory for the candidate with the poorest polling numbers.
It is also reasonable to speculate that Trump would have far more secret voters than Biden. After all, anyone openly supporting Trump today is subjected to an unprecedented shaming campaign by Democrats and the left-wing media. They (we) are accused of being racists, xenophobes, misogynists, homophobes, ignoramuses and deplorables. Seems logical that many average Americans would rather maintain silence as to their voting intention rather then expose themselves to the wrath of the mob. They are likely to confide only to a few intimate friends. They are more highly motivated to lie to pollsters.
Since Biden voters are placed on the pedestal of public admiration by the media, they have no reason to conceal their vote. In fact, they have every motivation to brag about their vote.
Though it seems logical and common sensical that a Trump secret vote would be much larger than a Biden secret vote, the imponderable question is … how big is the Trump secret vote? Is it tiny – say less than one percent? Or could be as much as an outcome-changing 5-plus percent?
There is no way of knowing, so politicians, pundits and pollsters can only conjecture -- but that is just a lot of political chatter. BUT … because of the unprecedented attack on Trump voters, I think it is reasonable to be believde that secret voters will be greater in number than in any election in the past. If I had to bet – but not too much – I would put it around 2-plus percent. In a close election, that can make all the difference in the world, of course.
If you put that 2-plus percent on top of the normal 2 percent advantage the polls generally give to Democrat candidates, the margin of pollster error could be significant. That means America could be in for a second upset in a row.
This time it would be an even greater shock to left-wingers, Democrats and the media (repeating myself, of course) than 2016 because the polls and the prognostications of a Trump defeat in November are even more extreme than they were four years ago.
The media anchors – and their panels of parroting pundits – see more than a blue wave. They are calling it a tsunami. And they are putting the full power of the media behind the effort to make it happen. CNN and MSNBC have become 24/7 infomercials for Biden and the Democrats – mostly in the form of negative advertisements. Their so-called townhall meetings, special reports and exclusive interviews are all strategically crafted from the Democrat playbook. This is not bias any longer. This is collusion.
The media’s constant pounding on the Trump base is inevitably going to increase the size of the Trump secret vote. How much? No one knows.
It could be significant, but Republicans should not get too giddy about it. While the potential of a significantly large secret Trump vote is real, it is not assured – and based on history, the odds are not good. A vote large enough to snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat is not seen in past elections.
One can recall the 1964 presidential election in which Republican Barry Goldwater was trailing badly in the polls. He staked his future on a secret vote. Goldwater opined that once voters were in “the sanctity of the polling booth,” they would vote for him. The pollsters in that instance were correct. Goldwater was wrong. He was badly defeated.
President Richard Nixon spoke of “the silent majority” that would carry him to victory. He won his election and re-election, but the majority was not silent or hidden. It was seen in the polling of the day.
Candidates predicting a victory – especially an upset – often refer to voters not registering in the polls. If you are behind in the polls, what else can a candidate say? But upset elections are not the norm. It is rare for a candidate down in the polls by double digits in October to win. If Trump’s numbers are the same in November as they are now, the odds are that he will lose – and lose badly. It is possible – but not likely – that there will be an unprecedented number of secret Trump voters sufficient to produce a second major upset. And as we wisely know, there is a lot of time between now and then – and in politics, anything can happen.
So, there ‘tis.
By Larry Horist