In a recent election poll conducted by the Investor’s Business Daily in conjunction with TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, the raw numbers favor the challenger, Joe Biden. However, for the nervous Trump voter, there is still plenty to cheer about, much of which centers on two crucial demographics – the Independent and the silent or shy voter. With some strategic questioning, IBD tried to ferret out who is the least likely to answer a poll. Confronting this issue of the silent voting bloc may hold the key to interpreting the stack of polls about to be unleashed on the American public in the run-up to November 3.
All Polls Are Not Equal
Overall, this poll does not appear to be in the same class as the Rasmussen surveys. This sample is small for a national study – questioning just over a thousand people. Thus, the overall numbers should be taken with healthy skepticism. For example, IBD reported, “President Trump’s job approval fell to 39%, with 55% disapproval, among registered voters.” That is quite a reach from the Rasmussen Daily Presidential Tracking Poll, which showed the president’s job approval hovered between 46%-52%.
What the IBD/TIPP poll did do was structure several questions to try and “tease out” the security of Joe Biden’s advantage over Trump. For instance, Trump reigns in the area of voter intensity or enthusiasm, but as ever, Independent voters can be fickle. The survey summary states that “19% of registered voters say they’re at least somewhat likely to change their mind before Election Day. Yet just 15% of intended Biden voters say they may change their mind, vs. 23% of intended Trump voters.”
Still, the IBD/TIPP tab that holds the most exciting revelation concerns the silent or so-called shy voter:
“Overall, 20% of registered voters say they’re uncomfortable revealing their preferred candidate, but that rises to 28% among independents.
Among registered independents, 24% say they agree with Trump on some issues but are reluctant to admit that in public.”
Coupled with the unusual finding that “41% think most of their neighbors will vote for Trump, while 40% think their neighbors will largely back Biden,” and you have a mishmash of information to parse. It comes down to this question, “Do you believe Biden voters fear telling others their voting preference?”
Not likely is the simple answer. It is the Trump voter who has been demonized by the mainstream media writ large, and the Trump voter who was gunned down in the streets of Portland, OR. It is the Trump voter called deplorable, irredeemable, and racist. With such a ferocious onslaught of negative characterizations, it does not seem unreasonable to conclude that the Trump voters are a majority of the uncounted.
But that does not mean they will not mosey on down to their precinct on election day. Unless there is some serious funny business at the polls, these people who have been silent for so long may be eager to exercise their franchise. And that is precisely what concerns Democrats. As well, it should not go unnoticed that Republicans are more likely to vote on the appointed date than Democrats.
This adds up to many a confused pollster who cannot seem to wrap their crystal ball around who will be the next president of the United States. Perhaps that is as it should be. And if it turns out that President Trump trounces Mr. Biden, it will confirm once and for all that shy should not be confused with silent – at least when it comes to elections.
Read more from Leesa K. Donner.