A new poll out from Morning Consult on Monday offers new evidence that hints at the presence of a silent majority in favor of President Donald Trump and shows many voters possessed a reluctance to give their genuine views on issues related to the current cultural climate.
Researchers who conducted the study over a series of live telephone interviews and online surveys between Sept. 10 – 14 found “there was clear evidence that voters are hesitant to express their opinions on discrimination, protests, and personal finances” on the phone as opposed to filling out internet questionnaires.
“And while there is no indication that ‘shy voters’ are affecting the overall national popular vote to a statistically significant degree, nuances in the data leave open the possibility that there could be effects at the margins for both Trump and Biden,” the polling group wrote in their findings.
Both President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden received roughly similar levels of support between telephone and online interviews with Biden 10 points ahead in the national survey by each medium.
It’s important to note however, that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was also consistently ahead of then-candidate Trump in 2016 and even captured the popular vote by nearly three million while still losing in the electoral college. In California alone, Clinton carried the state by more than 4 million, an excess vote total outweighing the Democratic nominee’s nationwide win.
The existence of the electoral college then, which protects the rest of the country from rule by California, makes the voters at the margins in critical swing states the game-changers in the race where the presence of what researchers call “social desirability bias” could mask Trump’s support landing Republicans a repeat of their 2016 victory shocking political observers.
During live telephone interviews, voters were far more likely to agree with politically correct statements affirming the idea of widespread discrimination in the United States as opposed to respondents online able to answer questions from behind a screen.
The Morning Consult’s findings remain consistent with an earlier survey conducted this year by the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute where 62 percent of Americans reported self-censorship of their own political views “because others might find them offensive.”
The Morning Consult interviewed 2,642 registered voters and 2,422 likely voters with a +/- 3 percent margin of error.