One day before the British referendum on European Union membership – which you now know as ‘Brexit’ – a Populus poll put the ‘Leave’ campaign 10 points down. This was the last poll before the referendum, and triggered a wave of depression amongst Leave campaigners.
But the pollsters had it wrong. Way, way wrong. And the Brexit camp won by 52 to 48 per cent. What really happened is that while turnout modelling was relatively fair, the raw sampling in the polling was off. They oversampled the young, metropolitan, liberals, and left out the “disaffected” in Britain’s equivalent of “flyover country”.
Now we’re learning that Hillary Clinton is struggling to put the Obama band back together – another sign that perhaps the pollsters have failed to include a full picture of the nation in their methodologies.
Even Politico, CNN, and the New York Times have been forced to admit that “the number of black voters casting ballots early is down 16 percent relative to 2012”.
This is, of course, their attempt at a “get out the vote” drive for Secretary Clinton, and it comes despite the race-baiting, guilt-driven politics pushed by President Obama, who again has reiterated that anyone who happens to have black skin should be naturally inclined to vote for the Democratic Party’s candidate.
According to Tim Carney in the Washington Examiner:
Do the math, and Obama gained 12 points on John McCain thanks to the black vote, while Kerry and Gore both gained about 8 points. In other words, Obama’s gain on Kerry and Gore can be mostly explained by turning out more black voters, and swinging some others.
Add to this the FiveThirtyEight comment that “Enthusiasm is up from 2012 among Latinos and liberal whites, and down among African-Americans”, and Mrs. Clinton may have a bigger problem than pollsters realise.
And though very important, black voters are not the only demographic ostensibly uninspired by the former First Lady.
Much like Brexit voters, Donald Trump’s supporters are far more enthusiastic. Their “certainty to vote” is far higher than Mrs. Clinton’s base.
The Hill noted in September:
Most strikingly, a CNN/ORC poll indicated that more than 1 in 5 five would-be Clinton voters were “not at all enthusiastic” about backing her, almost twice as many as said the same about Trump. The poll found 58 percent of Trump supporters saying they felt either “extremely” or “very” enthusiastic about their choice, and only 46 percent in the Clinton camp feeling the same.
A Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 46 percent of Trump backers were “very enthusiastic,” compared with only 33 percent of Clinton supporters. And a New York Times/CBS News poll saw Trump outperforming Clinton by the same metric, 45 percent to 36 percent.
Mrs. Clinton is also having problems firing up millennials, especially on the back of her terse exchanges with Bernie Sanders who did indeed appeal to young voters, and given the fact that Gary Johnson (Libertarian) and Jill Stein (Green) may take more voters at this Presidential election than their parties ever have before.
Mr. Trump’s great “Hispanic problem” has not come to pass despite the predictions of the border-wall-cynics in America’s commentariat, and he appears to be bridging the gap in his support from women too, according to new data from Investor’s Business Daily.
So when Mr. Trump refers to himself as “Mr. Brexit”, he may be giving a bigger clue to this election than the Farage-hating media may think.
Expect, one day before going to the polls, America’s pollsters and commentariat to be bleating about how the race is “in the bag” for Mrs. Clinton. This is behaviour aimed not at reflecting public opinion, but depressing Mr. Trump’s voters and promoting a specific outcome.
At the same time, on polling day… expect the unexpected.