Scott Johnston – If polls didn’t exist, who would you say was winning the election right now?

It’s a serious question. Would it be the guy who has massive rallies every day, many of them spontaneous, or the guy who stays in his basement every day, drawing scant crowds the rare times he comes up for air?

Joe Biden is up eight points in the RCP national average. This is no small thing. Yes, pollsters got it wrong in 2016, but they tend to correct for past mistakes. They have reputations to maintain.

But are they just biased? Conservative Twitter seems to think so. The “game,” many think, is to build a false narrative about Biden being way up and then correct the bias at the very end. That’s when pollsters get judged, you see, by the last poll. If they were way off a month before the election, who’s to say they were wrong? Public opinion changes.

But I have looked at the samples used by literally hundreds of polls, and I am not seeing any significant sampling bias. I’m not sure at all that’s going on, and if Republicans are counting on it, they shouldn’t.

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But, those rallies.

Here’s a rally that took place last week in Beverly Hills, CA:

The enthusiasm gap is as wide as the Grand Canyon.

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Today, I went to a Trump rally. I wanted to see one up close for myself, and it was an eye-opening experience.

The rally had about three hundred cars. There were no prominent speakers or otherwise big draws. Just random people. There were truckers and bikers, and even a guy in a Bentley. Interestingly, more than fifty percent were women. I recognized a few that I knew, and was surprised they were on the Trump side of the fence. They told me they typically have to keep their views close to the vest. Cancel culture.

No one with any connection to the Trump campaign had anything to do with organizing the event, it was all word of mouth. This is a phenomenon being played out all across the country, and it’s one we’ve never witnessed in our political history.

The rally started in Greenwich, Connecticut, and traveled about twenty miles out I-95 and back. This is deep-blue Connecticut, by the way. No Trump yard signs anywhere. And yes, we got the finger a few times, but the overwhelming reaction from others was wildly supportive. Hundreds of cars honked in approval. Scores of people waved excitedly from overpasses or by intersections.

It was like someone had given them permission to publicly show their support for Trump without suffering some sort of backlash. There was palpable joy at seeing so much Trump support in a place like Connecticut.

Which brings me to the whole idea of the “shy” Trump voter. This is a real thing, and it’s what the pollsters may be missing. It’s people who won’t talk to a pollster, or if they do, are reluctant to say they are voting for Trump.

The big question is, how big is this effect? If it’s two points, that may not be enough. If it’s five or more, Trump likely wins. (Remember, he’s closer than eight points in the swing states.)

Something else to consider: do you know any Trump voter from 2016 who isn’t voting for him this time? I don’t. In fact, most are more enthusiastic this time around. That, and there’s no question Trump will gain with blacks and Hispanics. Question is, how much?

So who has he lost, then? Suburban women? I was surrounded by them today.

On the other side, literally, no one gets excited about Joe Biden. I don’t think Jill Biden gets excited about Joe Biden. Is animus towards the other guy enough to get someone elected? Not impossible, but you tell me the last time it happened.

Here’s a quick look at a Joe Biden rally vs. a Trump rally:

One thing’s for sure: this election is make or break for the pollsters. Everything – everything – we see around us with our own eyes cuts against what they are saying. If they get this wrong, either through bias or procedural error, the whole industry deserves to be thrown on the ash heap.

Re-published with permission from Scott Johnston @SJohnston60

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