Democracy Institute’s Patrick Basham discusses on Canadian TV why his US Presidential election poll is right and other polls are wrong

On Canadian TV, Patrick Basham assesses US election polls
Democracyinstitute.org

Well, polls show that Joe Biden is holding a steady lead over President Donald Trump in key swing states, and the clock is running out on his chances of making a comeback. With more on this, I want to bring in Patrick Basham from the Democracy Institute. Patrick is in Washington DC, and his polls show something different

CTV: Good morning Patrick, glad you could be with us.

Patrick Basham: Good morning great to be with you.

CTV: Almost every poll out there except for yours shows that Joe Biden is on a straight path to re-election. Why is your poll different?

PB: Mine and a couple of others who predicted Trump would win in 2016, as you say, is saying that Trump is very competitive at least and probably going to get reelected. The reason, it’s really who we think is going to show up to vote.

Democracy Institute – US election 2020

democracyinstitute.org/category/us-election-2020/

And this from Forbes.

———-

Only One Poll Shows Trump Leading. I Interviewed The Poll’s Director.
By Jim Rossi | Oct 13, 2020

(forbes.com) – Poll after poll show Joe Biden as heavy favorite – despite him not knowing what state he was in when campaigning here in Las Vegas last week, and him mistakenly saying he’s running for Senate. While the Real Clear Politics average has Biden up 10 points, Donald Trump’s betting odds have taken a dive. After a peak of 48%, Bovada LV has Orange Man underdogging it at 35% – Biden -200, Trump +170. The Real Clear Politics average sits at 32.5%.

But not all is as it seems, according to Patrick Basham, polling director at the Democracy Institute. The Democracy Institute is a relative newcomer to political polling – but it correctly forecast Brexit and Trump’s historic 2016 upset. Basham’s latest poll has Trump up 46% to 45%, and up four points in the critical battleground states. I asked Basham why his poll looks so different than the others – and why it’s getting so little mainstream media play.

JIM ROSSI: True or False: We’re in the midst of the biggest American voter shift since at least 1964, and most pollsters cannot or are not measuring it.

PATRICK BASHAM: Partly false and partly true. It’s something of a shift, but not so much historic as an evolution of 2016. The part that is undoubtedly true is that most of the polls are misleading their readers into thinking the election is a done deal.

JIM: Are polls actively misleading people – or simply not able to measure what’s happening?

PATRICK: They’re not mutually exclusive. Some polls may just be off, some are advancing an agenda, and there is an intertwining of the two. In my opinion, there is a misreading of the electorate, based on many assumptions that are not likely accurate.

Polling is supposed to be incredibly scientific, and the science is more advanced than ever. But polling has always been a synthesis of science and art – and polls are more art than science in 2020. One of the major challenges is figuring out how the electorate will look.

JIM: You mention a couple examples.

PATRICK: ORC – Opinion Research Corporation – got fired by CNN after the 2016 election. Their main transgression was that they were pretty accurate.

JIM: Coming from CNN, that doesn’t surprise me.

PATRICK: The USC poll – University of Southern California – repeatedly asks the same respondents 2 or 3 questions daily…

JIM: Like a cross between a poll and a focus group?

PATRICK: …and it showed Trump competitive in 2016. In late September 2020, it was showing Biden’s lead evaporate. They claimed “technical problems” and changed their methodology. They are underpolling GOP voters.

JIM: Let me ask about secret Trump voters aka shy Trump voters. In today’s “woke” “cancel culture,” people risk social ostracism, job loss, mob intimidation and outright violence. Bettors on the underdog see an edge here. Can we measure these voters?

PATRICK: How I come at this is, Democracy Institute’s first public foray into public polling was Brexit. We got it correct – within one percentage point (4% – actual result vs. 3% – our projected result). The reason why we got it right – maybe the only reason – is we believed there were shy Brexit voters. So we devised questions to find out, then applied that to the US election in 2016. We discovered shy Trump voters – a few percentage points, low single digits – but significant in a close race.

Now we come to 2020, and a lot of people are looking. What we found is they do exist and in greater numbers. Our questions go like this: ‘If you were a Trump voter, would you tell anybody? Would you tell family? A friend? A coworker? Would you put a sign on your lawn or your car?’

JIM: In 2016, Trump outperformed the Real Clear Politics average for battleground states by four points. Is that a good over/under for 2020?

PATRICK: I’d advise you to take the over. Nationally – and this is probably conservative, we see it at 5 to 6%. State by state, where the rubber hits the road in the Electoral College, it varies more. We estimate more in battleground states…

JIM: Some of these are literally battleground states – as people argue and in some cases engage in violence.

PATRICK: Very crudely stated, we see three types of shy Trump voters. First is the blue-collar, middle aged white male in the rural Midwest. He is more busy than afraid to tell you. Second is the white suburban female. Third are African-American and Hispanic voters. They are moving toward Trump in significant, maybe even historic numbers.

JIM: In my experience, people don’t easily change their political views. But two things can change that: serious economic risks and physical danger.

PATRICK: The #1 predictor of voting Republican is owning a handgun. Black female gun ownership has skyrocketed. Forty percent of new handgun owners are female; sixty percent are African American.

JIM: How has the media covered your poll? Let me put it another way: Has the media covered your poll, with the exception of the UK Sunday Express and Breitbart? At absolute minimum, it seems very ‘man bites dog’ and a juicy story.

PATRICK: If we lived in a media world today like we used to, or a media world we wish it to be, you’d assume our ‘man bites dog’ story is at least newsworthy. We were getting some attention with our monthly poll. Then two months ago, our September poll showed Trump up 48-45 nationally and up 49-42 in battleground states. Trump started tweeting about it.

READ  America’s Elites—Not Trump—Are Responsible for Undermining American Democracy

Then when the October poll came out, Trump was in the hospital with COVID-19. Our poll was the only thing he tweeted about that day. We got hate mail and personal attacks on a scale that was hard to encounter. How we produced the numbers was not challenged, just that we produced numbers others don’t like. We’ve gone from having the most media-ignored poll to the most infamous poll.

JIM: Do Real Clear Politics or CNN have any objective criteria for being included in their reporting?

PATRICK: Real Clear Politics has no hard-and-fast rules. CNN said, ‘We don’t meet their standards.’ I agree. We tend to be accurate. They simply don’t want a counter-narrative.

JIM: How about FiveThirtyEight?

PATRICK: Most of the polls they have the highest rated are the ones with the worst record in recent years.

JIM: Unlike pundits, bettors benefit from accurate information, not polemics. People often say, ‘The only poll that counts is in November.’ I wrote a book about fraud. I think mass-mail voting brings profound election fraud risks. These polls, to me, are shaping the narrative of how the election is supposed to go. Some bettors worry the game is fixed.

PATRICK: If you came from another planet and looked at every single line of tangible evidence except polling – just about every one of those metrics point to Trump.

JIM: You mention a couple examples.

PATRICK: ORC – Opinion Research Corporation – got fired by CNN after the 2016 election. Their main transgression was that they were pretty accurate.

JIM: Coming from CNN, that doesn’t surprise me.

PATRICK: The USC poll – University of Southern California – repeatedly asks the same respondents 2 or 3 questions daily…

JIM: Like a cross between a poll and a focus group?

PATRICK: …and it showed Trump competitive in 2016. In late September 2020, it was showing Biden’s lead evaporate. They claimed “technical problems” and changed their methodology. They are underpolling GOP voters.

JIM: Let me ask about secret Trump voters aka shy Trump voters. In today’s “woke” “cancel culture,” people risk social ostracism, job loss, mob intimidation and outright violence. Bettors on the underdog see an edge here. Can we measure these voters?

PATRICK: How I come at this is, Democracy Institute’s first public foray into public polling was Brexit. We got it correct – within one percentage point (4% – actual result vs. 3% – our projected result). The reason why we got it right – maybe the only reason – is we believed there were shy Brexit voters. So we devised questions to find out, then applied that to the US election in 2016. We discovered shy Trump voters – a few percentage points, low single digits – but significant in a close race.

Now we come to 2020, and a lot of people are looking. What we found is they do exist and in greater numbers. Our questions go like this: ‘If you were a Trump voter, would you tell anybody? Would you tell family? A friend? A coworker? Would you put a sign on your lawn or your car?’

JIM: In 2016, Trump outperformed the Real Clear Politics average for battleground states by four points. Is that a good over/under for 2020?

PATRICK: I’d advise you to take the over. Nationally – and this is probably conservative, we see it at 5 to 6%. State by state, where the rubber hits the road in the Electoral College, it varies more. We estimate more in battleground states…

JIM: Some of these are literally battleground states – as people argue and in some cases engage in violence.

PATRICK: Very crudely stated, we see three types of shy Trump voters. First is the blue-collar, middle aged white male in the rural Midwest. He is more busy than afraid to tell you. Second is the white suburban female. Third are African-American and Hispanic voters. They are moving toward Trump in significant, maybe even historic numbers.

JIM: In my experience, people don’t easily change their political views. But two things can change that: serious economic risks and physical danger.

PATRICK: The #1 predictor of voting Republican is owning a handgun. Black female gun ownership has skyrocketed. Forty percent of new handgun owners are female; sixty percent are African American.

JIM: How has the media covered your poll? Let me put it another way: Has the media covered your poll, with the exception of the UK Sunday Express and Breitbart? At absolute minimum, it seems very ‘man bites dog’ and a juicy story.

PATRICK: If we lived in a media world today like we used to, or a media world we wish it to be, you’d assume our ‘man bites dog’ story is at least newsworthy. We were getting some attention with our monthly poll. Then two months ago, our September poll showed Trump up 48-45 nationally and up 49-42 in battleground states. Trump started tweeting about it.

Then when the October poll came out, Trump was in the hospital with COVID-19. Our poll was the only thing he tweeted about that day. We got hate mail and personal attacks on a scale that was hard to encounter. How we produced the numbers was not challenged, just that we produced numbers others don’t like. We’ve gone from having the most media-ignored poll to the most infamous poll.

JIM: Do Real Clear Politics or CNN have any objective criteria for being included in their reporting?

PATRICK: Real Clear Politics has no hard-and-fast rules. CNN said, ‘We don’t meet their standards.’ I agree. We tend to be accurate. They simply don’t want a counter-narrative.

JIM: How about FiveThirtyEight?

PATRICK: Most of the polls they have the highest rated are the ones with the worst record in recent years.

JIM: Unlike pundits, bettors benefit from accurate information, not polemics. People often say, ‘The only poll that counts is in November.’ I wrote a book about fraud. I think mass-mail voting brings profound election fraud risks. These polls, to me, are shaping the narrative of how the election is supposed to go. Some bettors worry the game is fixed.

PATRICK: If you came from another planet and looked at every single line of tangible evidence except polling – just about every one of those metrics point to Trump…

READ MORE:

www.forbes.com/sites/jimrossi/2020/10/13/only-one-poll-shows-trump-leading-i-interviewed-the-polls-director/#2638f6994ffc

 

 

h/t Dulcius Ex Asperis