October 30, 2020

Trafalgar Poll Shows Trump Leading, Here's Why

  • Horse Race

By: Amy Jo Underwood

In Brief:

The Trafalgar Group has consistently achieved differing poll results from its fellow pollsters. The differences result from methodology, including conducting direct voter contact polls in a less intimidating way. In the past, the Trafalgar Group has been accurate when other mainstream polls have failed, indicating that the November 2020 election may prove to have different results than the predictions of other polls.

The Background:

According to the National Review, the Trafalgar Group consistently achieved more accurate results in the 2016 gubernatorial and presidential elections. Part of their success was due to factoring in the “social desirability bias,” wherein a poll participant shades their answer to be perceived as in step with what is socially acceptable. 

Instead of calling voters directly at their homes and asking a series of questions, the Trafalgar Group mixes six different methods of polling in an attempt to get at the heart of the voters. The Trafalgar Group promises voters that their answers will remain anonymous, therefore enabling the group to achieve results from respondents that would likely refuse to participate in a live voter survey. This, in turn, provides a more thorough picture of the mindset of the average American voter.

In 2020, the Trafalgar Group poll shows Trump with a much better chance of winning than other polls indicate. 

Notable Quotes:

“[When polling people via phone surveys,] You end up disproportionately representing the people who will like to talk about politics, which is going to skew toward the very, very conservative and the very, very liberal and the very, very bored… And the kind of people that win elections are the people in the middle. So I think they miss people in the middle when they do things that way.” - Robert Cahaly, The Trafalgar Group, The National Review.


Amy Jo Underwood writes from Alabama

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