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Eye On Candidates
October 28, 2016

Are polls missing Trump support?

Donald Trump's campaign is banking on the polls being inaccurate and missing a large enough segment of his voters that could prove decisive on election day. According to a Politico article this morning, a number of Republican consultants and operatives think there may be some truth to the campaign's hope:

GOP insiders: Polls don't capture secret Trump vote

Those battleground state polls that paint such a grim picture of Donald Trump's prospects against Hillary Clinton? Most Republican insiders don't believe they're accurately capturing Trump’s true level of support.

That’s according to the POLITICO Caucus — a panel of activists, strategists and operatives in 11 key battleground states. More than seven-in-10 GOP insiders, 71 percent, say the polls understate Trump’s support because voters don’t want to admit to pollsters that they are backing the controversial Republican nominee.

With Trump falling behind in the majority of swing states, an overwhelming polling error may represent his best hope to win next month — and even that may not be enough. At the same time GOP insiders say there are “shy Trump” voters out there who aren't showing up in the polls, a 59-percent majority still say Clinton would win their state if the election were held today.

Polls are subject to a variety of factors, including "shy" voters who don't feel comfortable telling a stranger on a phone whom they really intend to vote for. But claiming rigged and faulty polling is usually the refuge of failing campaigns, and with less than two weeks this report shouldn't be much comfort to Trump supporters.