Poll: Majority Pennsylvania Voters Believe ‘Secret Trump Voters’ in Their Communities

A boy prepares to auction his livestock at the Cambria County Fair, September 8, 2016, in Ebensburg, Pennsylvania. The White House race could be decided in the Rust Belt -- a vast, decaying former industrial powerhouse in the US Midwest and Northeast where Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are battling …

The majority of Pennsylvania voters believe that there are “secret Trump voters” within their communities, a Monmouth University Poll released Wednesday found.

The latest Monmouth University Poll showed Joe Biden, the Democrat Party’s presumptive nominee, leading President Trump by double-digits in the critical battleground state, 53 percent to 40 percent among registered Pennsylvania voters. While three percent indicated that they will cast their vote for another candidate, four percent indicated that they remain undecided. Biden also appears to have an edge among independent voters, leading Tump 54 percent to 33 percent.

However, the majority of voters in the Keystone State believe in the underlying presence of “secret Trump voters” within their communities — voters who largely refrain from making their preference known, for a variety of reasons, but will cast their ballot in support of the president.

Fifty-seven percent of voters “believe there are a number of so-called secret voters in their communities who support Trump but won’t tell anyone about it.” Of those, 27 percent believe there are “many” secret Trump voters, while 17 percent said there are “only a few.” The remaining 13 percent said they were not sure how many “secret” voters are out there.

On the flip side, only 27 percent of respondents believe there are “secret” Biden voters.

“The suspicion that a secret Trump vote exists is slightly higher in swing counties (62%) and Clinton counties (61%) than in Trump counties (51%). The belief in a secret Biden vote is somewhat more prevalent in Trump counties (32%) than Clinton counties (23%) and swing counties (23%),” Monmouth found.

Voters remain relatively split on who they believe will ultimately win Pennsylvania in November, with 46 percent choosing Trump and 45 percent selecting Biden, despite the survey showing the former vice president leading Trump by double-digits. The phenomenon is likely driven by the widespread belief in “secret Trump voters.”

“The media consistently reports that Biden is in the lead, but voters remember what happened in 2016,” Monmouth University Polling Institute Director Patrick Murray said. The specter of a secret Trump vote looms large in 2020.”

The Trafalgar Group was among the first to focus on the existence of  hidden Trump support, looking “for hidden preferences by asking people who their neighbors are supporting” in its surveys, as Breitbart News detailed in November 2016:

That question about neighbors allows respondents to present their preferences as the opinion of others, so minimizing possible fear of stigma or embarrassment for supporting Trump.
In Pennsylvania, the “neighbors” question boosts Trump’s score by 4.4 points, up to 52.8 percent. Similarly, Clinton’s score drops from 46.5 percent down to 40 percent. That shift converts a 2-point gap into a 12-point valley. The poll was conducted Nov. 3 to Nov. 45, with 1,300 respondents.

 …When quizzed by Breitbart News about the reliability of a “hidden vote,” Cahaly offered several arguments for its existence.

His said his surveys during the primaries were unusually accurate, and also revealed hidden support for Trump, he said. The support was revealed when respondents were asked to respond to a computerized voice on the phone, versus when talking to a live person. “We did live callers and push-button [telephone polls] and we determined there was always a 4.5 point bounce for Trump [with computerized polls],” he said.

Trump ended up winning Pennsylvania by less than one percentage point.

Overall, Monmouth University concluded that Biden’s likely voter position “is similar to Clinton’s summer standing in the swing counties, where she led Trump by 50% to 40%” when compared to the Monmouth University Poll taken in August 2016.

“Interestingly, Trump is doing slightly better now in core Clinton counties than four years ago, when he was polling at 21% to 67% for Clinton. Biden, however, is currently stronger than Clinton was in the president’s base counties, where she was polling at 27% to 60% for Trump,” Monmouth University added.

The survey was taken July 9 – 13, 2020, among 401 Pennsylvania voters. The margin of error is +/- 4.9 percent.


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