The biggest group of “shy Trump voters” of the 2020 election — voters who concealed their intention from pollsters — was educated white voters working in white-collar jobs, according to a post-election analysis conducted by political scientist Eric Kaufman.
In 2016, it was Trump’s support in the rust belt, predominantly from white voters without college degrees, that was underestimated. This was particularly true due to the lack of polling in states like Michigan and Wisconsin that flipped for Trump in that election after decades as deep-blue Democrat states.
This time, however, it was white voters with college degrees that the polls failed to detect.
…the polls didn’t do badly in predicting the white non-graduate vote but failed miserably among white graduates. According to a Pew survey on October 9, Trump was leading Biden by 21 points among white non-graduates but trailing him by 26 points among white graduates. Likewise, a Politico/ABC poll on October 11 found that ‘Trump leads by 26 points among white voters without four-year college degrees, but Biden holds a 31-point lead with white college graduates.’
The exit polls, however, show that Trump ran even among white college graduates 49-49, and even had an edge among white female graduates of 50-49! This puts pre-election surveys out by a whopping 26-31 points among white graduates. By contrast, among whites without degrees, the actual tilt in the election was 64-35, a 29-point gap, which the polls basically got right.
Kaufman’s theory is that because blue-collar Trump supporters are less likely to work in industries that became more politically correct under Trump, they felt less pressure to conceal their views from pollsters.
Republican supporters with degrees tend to work in graduate-dominated environments, where organisations and peers are more likely to enforce norms of political correctness. As a result, it is highly-educated Republican supporters who are most shy about revealing their beliefs at work.
As figure 1 illustrates, 45% of Republicans with degrees, compared to 23% of Democrats with degrees, said they feared that their careers could be at risk if their views became known.
Calling the polling error in detecting the views of white graduates the “800-pound gorilla in the room,” Kaufman argues that “in order to fix polling, we first need to fix political correctness.”
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. His new book, #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election, which contains exclusive interviews with sources inside Google, Facebook, and other tech companies, is currently available for purchase.