Trump’s Prospects in November

Trump’s Prospects in November, by Steven Hayward.

Right now all the best polls show Trump trailing Joe Biden by significant margins. Why is it no one seems to believe them? Past experience, no doubt: Trump in 2016 ran ahead of his polls in most of the Republican primaries, and then again in November. …

The clever pollsters in 2016 wondered if there might be “shy Trump voters,” like the “shy Tories” in England, where polls in the last several general elections have consistently underestimated the Conservative Party vote share. So a few pollsters started asking people, “Who do you think your neighbor is going to vote for?” Lo and behold, lots of pro-Hillary respondents said “Trump” about their neighbors, and pollsters who adjusted for this factor (that is, intuiting that many of these respondents were also for Trump) called the election closer in those key midwestern states.

Right now it is interesting to note several things that suggest the 2016 history is likely to repeat itself. The betting markets still have Trump as the favorite, as does Barron’s magazine poll of 107 leading money managers. …

The final piece of contrary evidence comes from Gallup’s latest weekly survey, which unexpectedly found Trump’s highest approval rating to date, with much of his improvement coming from the all-important independent voters:

“Gallup’s April 14-28 poll finds Trump’s overall job approval at 49%, the same as in a March 13-22 poll but higher than his reading of 43% in an April 1-14 survey. …”