Trump’s Poll Numbers & Social-Desirability Bias

While the MSM and GOP, Inc continue to paint Trump supporters as ‘low education whites’, virtually every white conservative I work with (all of whom are college educated) support Trump.

The LA Times rightly observes the role of social-desirability bias in college-educated whites’ reluctance to admit to pollsters that they like Trump. In other words, they are pointing out a variation of the Bradley Effect:

Donald Trump leads the GOP presidential field in polls of Republican voters nationally and in most early-voting states, but some surveys may actually be understating his support, a new study suggests.

The analysis, by Morning Consult, a polling and market research company, looked at an odd occurrence that has cropped up repeatedly this year: Trump generally has done better in online polls than in surveys done by phone…

The experiment confirmed that “voters are about six points more likely to support Trump when they’re taking the poll online then when they’re talking to a live interviewer,” said Dropp…

The most telling part of the experiment, however, was that not all types of people responded the same way. Among blue-collar Republicans, who have formed the core of Trump’s support, the polls were about the same regardless of method. But among college-educated Republicans, a significant difference appeared, with Trump scoring 9 points better in the online poll.

The most likely explanation for that education gap, Dropp and his colleagues believe, is a well-known problem known as social-desirability bias — the tendency of people to not want to confess unpopular views to a pollster.

Blue-collar voters don’t feel embarrassed about supporting Trump, who is very popular in their communities, the pollsters suggested. But many college-educated Republicans may hesitate to admit their attraction to Trump, the experiment indicates.

In other words, Trump’s support (disproportionately due to reluctance of college educated whites to confess they like Trump) may actually be 6 points higher than current traditional polling methodologies would have us believe.

Trump01Amongst white conservatives (and all whites, in general), the suffocating air of Political Correctness increases the effects of the social-desirability bias.

This is good for Trump. The natural, media-fueled, horserace dynamics of traditional polling will, as it usually does, lead to a close race between Trump and The Queen. But a built-in positive 6 pt. margin could lead to a major sweep by Trump.

As we saw with Nixon in ’68 and Reagan in ’80, these types of things tend to happen when a White Silent Majority has grown to the formidable size it is now.

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