Polls vs. primary votes

Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2015 08:13 am
Donald Trump announced that he will spend big over the month of January. He seems to be talking about ads.

I have heard that he doesn't have much of any statewide get out the vote organization in the major primary states.

I have the sense that a substantial chunk of his supporters are not regular primary vote participants.

Theoretically, if everyone says to himself that Trump is bound to win because his poll numbers are so high, so it isn't that important to get to the primary and vote, and he doesn't have a lot of volunteers or paid employees (is that legal?) calling supporters to remind and encourage them to vote in the primary election, then his poll numbers might not predict his primary standing at all.

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Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2015 08:56 am
Trump supporters, when queried in polls, hide their preferences so they're not showing up in polls. Also, they can't (or won't) read which is how they got in their mindset to begin with.
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Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2015 09:02 am
I see that the weird misconception about Trump supporters still exists. I am sure that you wouldn't want all Hillary supporters to be based on a few seen on TV would you?

Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2015 09:16 am
It's an interesting point. Is campaign staff what gets out the vote a la The War Room, or is it sheer force of personality?

I guess everyone will start finding out shortly
Reply Thu 31 Dec, 2015 09:43 am
Often there are a ton of volunteers who will knock on doors or will give people rides.

Yes, paid campaign workers are legal (campaign managers rarely are volunteers), but most of the work is done for free. The paid folks are not doing door to door; they're more likely brainstorming about ads or strategizing where the volunteers should go, in order to do the most good.
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2016 07:09 pm
My only suspicion about Trump supporters, in this context, is that a substantial chunk of them might be disaffected independents with a history of non-participation in the formal political system in general, and particularly at the level of state party primaries which do not even decide elections but only nominees (or more accurately, state delegates who are then obligated to vote for a particular candidate at a nomination caucus).

If I were such an individual, I might have only the foggiest grasp of electoral politics, imagining that the nomination process occurs as the result of some vague machinations that reflect each candidate's poll numbers, is determined by a few party die-hards who are bound to vote for the most popular candidate, and that my vote is only needed for the presidential general election. I might not be registered to vote, or understand that the arcane process required for me to be qualified to vote in a state party primary might mean jumping through some bureaucratic hoops ahead of time, and not just driving downtown and waltzing in on election day.

In any case, I might look at Trump's landslide lead in the polls, and decide that he didn't need my personal help and that I needn't interrupt my dinner or television viewing to carry out a time consuming chore that wouldn't change the outcome because my candidate is a shoe-in anyway.

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Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2016 07:17 pm
I did realize that campaign managers, professional consultants, and the like, are usually paid handsomely in a presidential candidacy. I just had some vague notion that it might, at least in some cases, be against state or federal law to pay someone to contact members of the public to encourage them to vote for said candidate. That might be naive speculation on my part, but if anyone is able to substantiate or dismiss it authoritatively, I'd be interested in a reply.
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