Almost all the polls predicted that Hillary Clinton would beat Donald Trump in 2016, and almost all the polls are now predicting that Joe Biden will beat Trump.
They were wrong in 2016 and they are wrong again.
Four days before the election of 2016, I wrote that "Bill Kristol, who has been wrong all along, now says Hillary will win bigger than Obama did in 2012. My takeaway — it's good news for Trump."
The day before the election, I emailed some friends about the outcome. In two of my missives, I said, "Look for a Trump upset tomorrow"; the other two said, "I think the pollsters are all wrong. Predicting a Trump victory."
I explained Trump's appeal as early as Feb. 10, 2016. I took aim at his conservative critics, many of whom wrote for National Review and the now defunct The Weekly Standard.
"The fundamental problem with conservative critics of Trump is their class bias. They don't understand the working class. Sheltered in their prep schools and Ivy League institutions, their world is one where ideas count, and not much else. They don't understand the visceral appeal of someone like Trump."
I explained Trump's appeal. "Candidness and an intolerance for business as usual."
I then raised a serious question and provided a response:
"How is it possible for a billionaire to connect to blue-collar workers but polished politicians cannot? Because Trump speaks their language. He is bold and decisive, and he is not owned by the political class."
What I wrote drew two laudatory tweets from Trump.
When I said Trump was "bold and decisive," I was describing the qualities that Americans want in their leaders. Along with the enthusiasm metric, Trump's strong leadership is why he will win again.
There is evidence to support my assessment:
Hillary was beating Trump on most variables in 2016, and Biden is doing the same today. Trump trailed her on such matters as being "Comfortable with Candidate as President"; "Has Temperament to Serve Effectively as President"; "Honest & Trustworthy." Similarly, Trump trails Biden on such measures as "Is Likeable"; "Honest & Trustworthy"; "Cares about the Needs of People Like You."
However, on the issue of who is a "Strong and Decisive Leader," Trump beat Hillary by four points and is beating Biden by 10 (56% to 46%).
This is not one of those indices that can be made up in the closing days before the election.
Nor can Biden make up ground on the enthusiasm factor — it's too late. Trump led Hillary by 8 points in the share of voters who were very enthusiastic about their choice.
An ABC poll shows Trump with a 19-point enthusiasm advantage.
In 2016, Evan Witt, head of Princeton Survey Research and president of the National Council of Public Polls, aptly noted that "polls do a poor job with emotion/enthusiasm/commitment."
Which explains why concentrating on such matters as "caring about our needs" misses the point of why people vote the way they do.
Trump turns a lot of people off, for reasons even his supporters will acknowledge.
But most people are mature enough to get past his persona and focus on his policies. Regrettably, the eggheads are too immature to do so. For example, in 2016 George Will not only predicted Trump would lose, he said it would be better for Republicans if he lost in a landslide. He is now predicting that Trump will lose to Biden, and will leave "whining."
The polls this time are as inaccurate as last time.
In 2016, Nate Silver's much-touted FiveThirtyEight survey showed Hillary with a 71.4% chance of winning versus Trump's 28.6%. The New York Times Upshot blog gave Hillary a 91% chance of winning.
Huffington Post said she had a 98% chance of winning and the Princeton Election Consortium put her chances of winning at 99%.
Everyone should pay attention to pollster Frank Luntz. On Nov. 8, 2016, he predicted that "Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the United States." He now says that if Trump wins and surprises the pollsters, "my profession is done."
Looks like he is finally going to get something right.
Dr. William Donohue is the president and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. The publisher of the Catholic League journal, Catalyst, Donohue is a former Bradley Resident Scholar at the Heritage Foundation and served for two decades on the board of directors of the National Association of Scholars. He is the author of eight books, and the winner of several teaching awards and many awards from the Catholic community. Read Bill Donohue's Reports — More Here.
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