Real Clear Politics Co-Founder: Pollster Says ‘Shy Trump Effect’ Higher Than 2016

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Tom Bevan, president and co-founder of Real Clear Politics (RCP), discussed polling for the upcoming presidential election during a Friday night “The Ingraham Angle” segment on Fox News.

As presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden continues to lead President Donald Trump in RCP’s average polling, albeit by less hefty margins than a month ago, Bevan and Fox News host Laura Ingraham talked about the possibility of Trump voters being hesitant to declare their support for the president.

“Tom, everyone is asking me this question and I go travel, I meet people, they say, ‘Are people afraid to say what they think? Are the polls overstating support for Democrats again?’ What is your sense given what we’re seeing now?” Ingraham asked.


“Well it’s hard to say,” Bevan responded. “I talked to Robert Cahaly who’s a pollster for The Trafalgar Group. He released a poll in Michigan not too long ago and he said he’s seeing that shy Trump effect, the official name is social desirability bias and it’s when respondents don’t want to tell posters exactly what they think. He’s seeing that, he said more this time around than last time around.”

“He said he’s also finding some Trump supporters who are hidden in the undecided vote,” Bevan continued. “They just will tell pollsters that they’re undecided even when they’re really not. When you push them and say if the election were today, who would you vote for and they say well they’re supporting Trump.”

The RCP co-founder explained that it’s “hard to get a handle” on the extent of that support and how it affects polling in the battleground states.

“And again, the Trump campaign, if you talk to them they say they are very competitive in these states and even leading in their private polling,” Bevan said. “Now they’re modeling a different electorate, clearly, they are counting on different folks to be turning out election day than what the public pollsters are. So we will see who is right and who was wrong when the ultimate poll is taken on election day.”

Bevan and Ingraham discussed Trump shrinking Biden’s lead in Michigan, which currently stands at around 10 points, and what to make of the Trump campaign stopping advertising buys. (RELATED: Jesse Watters: ‘You Can Feel The Momentum Shift In The Presidential Race’)

“I wouldn’t read too much into it at this point, the advertising aspect of this,” Bevan said. “But clearly, Michigan is a state that the Trump campaign feels is very much in play and they are going to continue to contest it until election day.”