Republican “Defeatism” About Trump Not Warranted By Current Polling

Stewart Lawrence Stewart J. Lawrence is a Washington, D.C.-based public policy analyst who writes frequently on immigration and Latino affairs. He is also founder and managing director of Puentes & Associates, Inc., a bilingual survey research and communications firm.
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The electoral math for the 2016 election is crystal clear:  Trump needs to carry the two battleground states that Romney lost – Florida and Ohio – preserve Romney’s slim victory in North Carolina, capture Pennsylvania, which Rom ney lost by just 5 points (largely by failing to compete there) and hold on to two prized Red States, Arizona and Georgia.

If Trump can do this, he wins 273 electoral votes – 3 more than the majority required – and becomes the next president of the United States.

How’s Trump doing?  He’s regained his lead in Ohio, has reduced Florida to a dead heat, and is within striking distance in Pennsylvania again.  There’s been some slippage in Arizona and Georgia, but he’s still leading in both.

Make no mistake:  Trump is still poised for a breakthrough victory.

Amazingly, the mainstream media would have you believe that Clinton is running away with the election.  It’s not the first time.  They want people to think that a Clinton victory is inevitable.  That way, Trump supporters won’t bother to show up to vote.

Sadly, defeatism has also infected the ranks of GOP.  Many Republicans, and even some that support Trump, think Hillary is likely to win.  Self-appointed “odds-makers” even place her chances of victory – based on God knows what – at or near 90%

But even the very polls commissioned by the mainstream media suggest otherwise.

And of course there are three polls out there that still predict a Trump victory.   Rasmussen has Trump up by two points, and IBD/TIPP and the Los Angeles Times/USC Consortium (hereafter LAUSC) has him within a single point

Mainstream media spokespeople and the Clinton campaign are doing their best to discount these three polls.  They are calling them “outliers” or worse, “pro-Trump polls.”  But when outliers come in threes, they are no longer outliers.  Moreover, the other national polls, despite spiking for Clinton briefly, are continuing to narrow again.

It’s worth noting that IBD/TIPP and LAUSC have solid reputations,  In fact, IBD/TIPP is considered by experts like Nate Silver to be the nation’s single most reliable presidential pollster. Not only did the firm accurately predict the outcome of the last four presidential elections, it did so with uncanny accuracy.  Silver found that it came closest to predicting the 2012 election, not just Romney’s victory, but the actual point spread.

LAUSC has also successfully predicted past elections.  It’s a partnership between the nation’s third largest newspaper and two prestigious research centers at one of the nation’s leading universities.   In 2012, the group’s polling did feature some rather large rises and dips that some analysts found suspicious.  But in the end LAUSC correctly predicted an Obama victory and came within 0.5 percent of being correct on the spread — a close second to IBD/TIPP.

Compare their track record to that of other leading polling firms, especially those that predicted a Romney victory.  Most were off by three to four percentage points. Gallup, supposedly an industry leader, was off by a whopping seven points.  Clearly, IBD/TIPP and LAUSC are doing something right – very right, it would seem.

It could be the two firms’ unique polling methods, which have advantages over those utilized by most standard pollsters.  For example:

  • The polls are not based on whether the respondent has voted in a past election. These “likely” voter models are popular in standard polling, but they miss new recently registered voters who tend to favor Trump and are likely to play a much bigger role in 2016.
  • The LAUSC poll is internet-based. Many studies show that voters more honest about their voting preferences when completing internet surveys than they are in phone surveys.  (Online voters are also more likely to support Trump).
  • The IBD/TIPP poll is based on live-interviewers but includes an unusually high proportion of cell phone users than most standard polls. The poll reaches more of the total electorate, and does so more reliably.
  • Similarly, the LAUSC polls allows respondent to answer at their leisure, not in the moment. They can take their time to consider their view and are less likely to answer impulsively or reactively.

So, look at the current polls – all of them.  Despite an avalanche of media propaganda, Republicans have no cause to believe that Clinton is “running away” with this election.  As things stand now, Trump’s just as likely to win as she is.

Believe in victory, show up to vote, and make a difference.  Defeatism only plays into Hillary’s eagerly waiting hands.