You don’t need me to tell you Donald Trump is doing well in his race for the GOP nomination. The candidate receives over 40 percent of the vote in some polls among his Republican peers, and most of his supporters would even support him as an independent candidate.
His supporters are devoted – and the polls we see touted in the media may be understating the true extent of his popularity. As the Political People Blog reported:
Often Trump receives over 60% in online polls – which is far greater than what he gets in over-the-phone polls. Because of the disparity between the online and phone polls it is difficult to exactly evaluate Trump’s overall support. However a recent study has just done that, and if you are not a fan of Trump – it’s bad news.
In mid-December 2015, Morning Consult (the company that conducted the study) ran an examination where about 2,500 Republican respondents began an interview online and then were assigned to complete a series of political questions online, by live telephone or via interactive voice response (IVR). The study finds that Trump performs about six percentage points better online than via live telephone interviewing and that his advantage online is driven by adults with higher levels of education. Importantly, the differences between online and live telephone persist even when examining only highly engaged, likely voters.
In fact, Trump’s advantage in online polls compared with live telephone polling is eight or nine percentage points among likely voters. Therefore, Donald Trumps actual support could be closer to 50% in reality than 40%.
So why are people willing to declare support for Trump online but not over the phone? The answer, according to the report cited above is simple: embarrassment.
It’s not hard to see why, considering how much the media has vilified Trump that people will hide their support over phone but declare it anonymously online.
This is bad news for Democrats and establishment Republicans. Karl Rove calls Trump a “dream candidate” for the Democratic Party who would be “creamed” by Hillary Clinton – but we now know that the polls he’s relying on for that conclusion are flawed.
Trump’s unbreakable support in the face of media scrutiny can be best summarized by a headline at the satirical newspaper The Onion: “‘This Will Be The End Of Trump’s Campaign,’ Says Increasingly Nervous Man For Seventh Time This Year.”
No scandal is going to end Trump, but the same certainly can’t be said about Hillary.
[Note: This article was written by The Analytical Economist]