Carol King, Bad Polls and Good Polls Explained: The Art of Polling

Carol King

A lot of election 2020 is mysteriously similar to election 2016. Joe Biden is campaigning heavily in Pennsylvania, even the same places PittsburghLatrobeGreensburg, and Johnstown where Hillary Clinton campaigned in the final weeks of the 2016 race. He is attracting “white middle class” voters, considered a mainstay of the Trump base, but who was also the type of voter Hillary Clinton was attracting. She only turned out younger and more diverse people when she paired her appearances with a Katy Perry or Bruce Springsteen concert.

Mainstream polls are mimicking 2016 too. In Pennsylvania, Biden has maintained high leads over President Trump: today they show him as winning by 7%. Likewise, in 2016, Hillary Clinton was ahead by 3.9%, in polls with third-party candidate Gary Johnson received 4% of the vote, they forecast her as having a 77% chance of winning. People from both Trump and Biden camps are unsure whether history will repeat, whether polls will again fail to understand which voters are going to turn out.  

In fact, several non-mainstream polls/pollsters who identified trends predicting a Trump victory in 2016, are showing very different results.   

Non-mainstream pollsters 

First up is Robert Cahaly, from the Trafalgar Group polling organization. In 2016 he showed Trump with a lead in Michigan and Pennsylvania going into Election Day. He also showed Trump ahead in North Carolina and Florida, both of which he won. Cahaly did not have Trump ahead in the key state of Wisconsin only because he did not poll Wisconsin. 

Why Cahaly predictions were more accurate is because he used different methods to the mainstream pollsters and managed to identify voters who were likely to vote but had been “inactive” in the recent election cycles. Mainstream pollsters tend to poll only registered voters or use a “likely voter screen,” based on whether someone voted in the past.    

Cahaly was also the originator of the prescient formula of asking voters who they were supporting in 2016, then following that up by asking them whether they thought their neighbors were supporting Trump or Clinton. This is what sparked the idea in Cahaly that there was a “shy Trump voter effect.” There was a consistently high variance between who respondents said they were voting for and who they thought their neighbors were voting for -supporting the idea that people won’t tell pollsters their true intentions for fear of being bullied or stigmatized. 

Cahaly’s method again held steady in the 2018 elections with Trafalgar pollsters correctly predicting Ron DeSantis’s gubernatorial victory in Florida, Rick Scott’s senate victory winning the Senate race there. Trafalgar/Cahaly said both would be narrow outcomes with likely recounts. They were also right in predicting Senate outcomes in Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Texas, and West Virginia making them the most accurate pollster of 2018 elections among those firms polling Senate and governor races. 


Cahaly believes his methods and methodology will be even more valuable for 2020 as low voter response rates and “shy Trump effect” distort and elude the methods used by mainstream pollsters. For example, 11.7% of Republicans say they would not give their true opinions about their preferred presidential candidate on telephone polls. 5.4% of Democrats said the same, and 10.5% of Independents fell into this “shy voter” category. So, let’s hypothesize: if you take the 10.5% of independent voters, who make up about 26% of a poll, that would constitute 2.6%, add in the “shy Republicans” at approximately 6%, adjust for a standard 3% margin of error in either direction, and all of a sudden Joe Biden’s 7 or 9% lead is thrown into question. In fact, it would bring the result to around where another non-mainstream pollster – the Democracy Institute has the race: Trump with a 1% lead 

The Cato institute confirms people are in fact selfcensoring at higher levels in 2020 – “62% of Americans say the political climate these days prevents them from saying things they believe because others might find them offensive. 

Independent pollster, Rich Baris, at People’s Pundit Daily, using different methods to mainstream pollsters, was also correct in predicting the 2016 Trump victory. Rich says, he knew Trump would do well with white working-class voters, but the polls weren’t showing that. Rich contends that state polls were wrong because they were not weighted by education, and therefore under-counted non-college voters. In short, their voter samples were not accurately predicting the voter who was likely to turn out.  

Investigative journalist, Salena Zito, and political science Professor Paul Sracic also latched onto this trend in swing states. In Pennsylvania for example, they were noticing that while the state had given the Democratic nominee its electoral vote since 1992, every four years the returns had shown Pennsylvania becoming .04% percent more Republican. Salena was sure that this was a long-term trend in favor of Republicans. Professor Sracic was less convinced, but today he is more easily convinced that it is still trending this way. They cite data showing Pennsylvania is trending more conservative with Republicans adding almost 198,000 more registered voters since 2017. Several Pennsylvania counties show a large amount of traditionally Democratic voters who have now changed their registration from Democrat to Republican.   

Moreover, a lot of the mainstream poll results that dominate/create headlines, tend to come from poll aggregators or people like Nate Silver who are averaging polls. That is, they are attempting to combat problematic methodologies by averaging the results of different pollsters using different kinds of faulty methodologies! Another glaring problem is that these aggregate results NEVER include the predictions made by two prominent pollsters –Zogby and the Democracy Institute – whose results were accurate in 2016, and are also trending more favorable to Trump in 2020. If Zogby and the Democracy Institute were included in “aggregates,” prediction trends still might go for Biden, but would possibly drag him into the margin of error territory.   

As mainstream 2020 polling continues to show Biden winning with numbers that Barack Obama did not attain in 2012, independent pollsters question their methodologies models predicting 33% of the electorate will be 39 years old or younger. The under 40s vote may favor Biden by a lot, but people like Cahaly, Rich Baris, and the Democracy Institute is skeptical that this will really reflect the percentage of young people who vote.  

Professor Sracic too notes that “new voters” are the most difficult to account for in polls, since pollsters are relying on past turnout to make predictions, they have to use some guesswork for the future. This is what Rich Baris calls the “art of polling,” having an instinct to know how to “weigh” the data, in contrast to the “science” part which reflects the collection method. Say, you call 200 people and 120 are male, while 80 are female, you need to adjust the weighing if you are expecting a 50:50 male: female turnout for the election.   

Additionally, collection methods are not straight forward either since cell phones became common, with often only 2% of respondents taking pollsters calls. Rich Baris overcomes this by using a variety of collection methods, e.g. by text, online, landline and cell phone, and by reminding himself that often respondents who agree to take calls are middle-class professors with plenty of time, even eager to have discussions about their political leanings. The working-class steelworker priorities might differ – his priorities are making it home for dinner and family time.  

The “new voters” not captured by mainstream pollsters are not exclusively young voters either. For example, many Trump supporters who are/were attracted to the positive message and energy of the Trump campaign – ideas like pro-American trade policies, drain the swamp, and challenging the status quo political establishment – could just be voters who had not participated for several cycles. They are not easily captured by pollsters. 

To finish, several historic metrics and trends are in Trump’s favor:  

  1. No incumbent who has received at least 75% of the primary vote has lost re-electionDonald Trump received 94% of the primary vote, the 4th highest in all-time. Trump set a record for primary participation levels for an incumbent with 18.1million votes. 
  2. Every candidate since 1988 that led in enthusiasm, won the election. This year, Pew gives Trump a 20% lead in enthusiasm. “The leader in this poll has won every election since 1964”.  
  3. A majority of polls expect Trump to win, and the expectation question has proven more accurate historically than the voter INTENTION question that gives Biden the edge.   
  4. Beginning in 2004, the candidate that led in google searches has won the election. Trump leads Biden in google searches by a ratio of 3 to 1.
  5. The maximum time that a successful candidate to become President has served in the Senate is 15 years. Joe Biden has served 36 years.
  6. No former President has taken longer than 14 years, to get from their gubernatorial or Senate victory to the presidency. Again, Joe Biden served 36 years in the Senate.
  7. Finally, Donald Trump is even ahead in many of the cookie election polls which run in various states and have the candidate’s images frosted on cookies jousting for the most bought cookie in battleground states.


Carol King received a first-class BA (honors) in History and Politics from Stirling University, along with an exceptional commendation for a study on US public opinion and Foreign Policy. She also completed a year of study at University of London before taking up a Graduate Proctor Fellowship at Princeton University. She further completed a MPhil in American Politics at Dundee University. Aspiring to be a writer/commentator on American politics, she now writes for UncoverDC.

Twitter: @CarolKing561

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32 thoughts on “Carol King, Bad Polls and Good Polls Explained: The Art of Polling”

  1. The Bombshell of Hunter Biden’s forgotten laptop shows pedo-rape and torture and spells out using the Vice-Presidency as an ATM with China and Ukraine. This ain’t going away no matter what censorship they try.

  2. Pastor Lindsay Graham worked as Chaplin on the Alaska Pipeline Project. He would fly his own plane to remote work camps and minister to the men. He was paid by his Church and not the Pipeline Consortium.The Brass was so impressed with the Pastor’s positive results in terms of morale and peace and quiet at the camps, they included him in their board meetings.

    Graham got to meet many of the World’s Elite who visited the project during construction. He got to know quite of few of the major figures quite well. The Pastor described the way that these people think as completely foreign to the average American. That’s why so few understand the madness around the World, they don’t understand nothing happens by accident. One time the Pastor was riding in a car with one of his contacts and the subject of the football game came up. The Pastor inquired which team he preferred to see win. The man said it did not matter, “we” own both… speaking of we as the World’s Financial Elite… his circle of associates.

    The man said the same thing about elections, “we” own both candidates most years, so the outcome does not matter. He described how the world’s elite decided to destroy AT&T and why… that AT&T had become so powerful, they did not need to borrow money from “them” and they hated the lack of control. So “they” busted up AT&T with anti-trust, to make room for all the others. The man went on to say “we” can take oil to an price we want, in fact it’s $32 a barrel right now, in two weeks it will be $10 a barrel. The Pastor was on Seattle Today and made the startling prediction on live television. He was laughed at until that exact prediction came true. They called him back on the show thinking he was some clairvoyant with special powers.

    The Pastor’s latest news from his elite contacts from early September is “they” released the Kung Flu and it’s main purpose was to shutter the churches and test to see how easily people went along with it. The ancillary benefits were to launch the contact tracing apps in your iphones which they plan to weaponize when they release the next plague and it’s supposed to be before the election. From the Pastor’s track record, his Elite contacts pass on information that is mostly accurate. A few years back, the dollar is dead prediction has not come true. Yet! The Pastor also mentioned the use of weather as a weapon to crush the harvest season. I think we have seen some of that quite often in the last few years.

    One of the more surprising things the Pastor said was his Elite contact said the 2016 election was rigged for Hillary. The contact said God himself intervened and it’s the only reason Trump is President. Wow. The Pastor said the only thing that will stop the release of the Next Plague is you guessed it… the ‘Ol Mighty One.

      1. You don’t need a “plan”. Just step away. It’s only hard at first.

        Here is an example: I met a US man living in a little village in South America not too long ago. He must have been around 80, he appeared to be alone and he said he had been living there 10 years. . Anyway, I asked him if he ever missed his prior life and his old friends.

        The answer: An unequivocal no. In fact, he seemed surprised that I would even ask that.

      2. You don’t need a plan? ….to walk away from the country in which you lived all your life….your family, friends…everything, eh?

        RS…don’t let the door hit you in the behind.

      3. I have….That’s why I live my life as best I can without fear and succumbing to that fight or flight primal mechanism. If you believe running away from your country of birth to “greener pastures
        ” will solve the problem , by all means, do so. But I suspect you will encounter the same problems….and likely worse….wherever you go.

        “Don’t go mistaking paradise for that home across the road”…RZ

      4. My eyes are wide open. I know there’s no safe place where I am or most anywhere else. The difference I see is that in the US, the gov’t is the major predator with Apache helicopters and morons in the police and military ready to kill on command. The US has sufficient resources to throw at any problem the gov’t encounters to quash it.

        The entitled population of welfare moochers is going to demand more and more free stuff, or else. They’ll get it via the tax code, eminent domain, and any other absolutely legal hocus pocus the scum in the political class can dream up to continue to squeeze the working man. That is, until there’s a revolt, and that’s not far off.

        The cops are going to get ambushed in increasing incidents as payback. At some point, there will be massive cop resignations because the risk is too great and they will want to protect their families. That’s when the real morons show up in military uniforms.

        At some point, martial law will be declared and otherwise decent people who’ve had enough will get sacrificed when they act out. This will work for a time until the low IQ grunts figure out that their buddies are manhandling their relatives on the other side of the country. I expect the grunts will eventually turn on their officers or morale simply causes the machine to fail. I believe I’ll live long enough to see the violent end of the US Fed Gov, violent due to TPTsB’s desire to hold on at any cost.

  3. Think about this:

    If Donald Trump can’t even control his own DOJ, whose deep state minions are trying to get rid of him, how is he going to put a dent in the Jew World Order that is trying to get rid of the USA?

      1. “the game” That’s just it. It’s nothing more than a game.

        I’m just making the point that Trump, or any other politician for that matter, is not going to save us from what the Jew bankers have planned for us.

        Do you think Operation Covid is going to stop after the election?

        Here’s your Guide To The Great Reset:

      2. You’re right RS! It all a game and the world is a stage. And if this young lady went to University of London she would have been taught that polling study is rubbish and there is no statistical significance of it.
        James Cobbet for the win.

      3. RS…I do not know and do not care if any politician will save us. I plan to take care of myself when and IF the time comes. In a recent interview, Trump called it fake (quite a tell, eh?) AND he has now stated the vax will not be mandatory for Americans as I placed in a previous comment. I might add there are ways that are infallible to protect yourself….it’s called a Notice of Liability that you may send to your local “authorities”. If you want further info, I can provide it.

        The populace is wearing masks and going along because they do not realize they can say NO….I have and do and have seen NO repercussions.

        Check these interviews between Icke, Giuseppe and Scorpio….

      4. RS and Salty….it IS a game in which we have all been participating all of our lives (RS for example is voting for Trump).

        What’s the alternative?

      5. It’s just time to disengage from the poisonous USG and pray for secession. This is the alternative. A long time ago, a limited USG might have made sense. But even a fool can see that it doesn’t make sense now. What would you miss about it?

        Wouldn’t you prefer to live in the sovereign state of Florida and pay limited taxes that might actually benefit you?

      6. Speaking subjectively, I have been retired for 13 years…taxes are not an issue. I live a very simple life. Objectively, all I wish for all of us is peace, good health and the freedom to do whatever we wish short of harming anyone or anything else.

      7. There are huge problems with Secession. What about property owned by the USA within a State? Congress must approve of a secession. That’s not likely to happen.

      8. Yes I suppose there will be problems with secession. Not the least of which will be the criminal USG’s determined effort to prevent its slaves from leaving the plantation.

        But the worse things get, the more determined resistance will become in some sectors of the population. I hope it will be sufficient.

      9. Note for the record that the psychopath and fascist Schwab was awarded the $1 million Dan David Prize by Israel in 2004.

  4. Is it now over for the Dems? OR…will this be a way to get Harris in?

    Stone: (as always, with a grain of salt…but this looks scarily legit)

    The following (carefully composed) photo is 100 percent legit and was taken at 6:20 PM EST October 16
    Here we have 1. The Chinese billionaire that had to flee the communist party, who has 3 hard drives of dirt on Biden colluding with communist china to destroy the United States. 2. Steve Bannon, who has had a copy of Hunter Biden’s hard drive for 2 weeks. 3. Rudy Giuliani (who is turning out to be a VERY GOOD Jew, yes, it is possible), AND 4. The Chinese virologist who confirmed the wuhan lab made the virus and as rumor has it, also knows Biden and the Democrats had the wuhan lab create the virus (paid for with 2.7 million U.S. tax dollars by Fauci) for the sole purpose of de-railing Trump’s election with a totally scammed mail in vote scheme.

    I went too hard on Giuliani, it now looks like he opted to step over a dropped m&m (Hunters hard drive) so he could instead grab a whole m&m cupcake. If so, I don’t think there is going to be an election, this is a solid case of GAME OVER and that photo was intentionally framed as such to taunt the Dems and tell them “GAME OVER.”
    I don’t know what to say beyond that, I am STUNNED, other than Stuxnet nuclear reactor distraction?

    I keep staring at that photo in disbelief. It is very skillfully taken to not have the photographer or Bannon in the mirror, leaving the entire frame for the microbiologist. This took very careful composition and was obviously done on purpose to terrify the Democrats. Photoforensics says it is 100 percent legit and that would not be surprising considering we already know Giuliani and Bannon have Biden’s hard drive, the billionaire and the microbiologist are a serious bonus, the Dems are royally screwed. I just noticed, the chinese microbiologist is illuminated by a backwards facing photo strobe. This is FREAKING AWESOME.

    NOT SO DEAR HUNTER: Alcohol and crack don’t mix well with laptops left for repair, if you can’t write down your data correctly and therefore cannot be contacted, and you were so blitzed you don’t remember where you left it!
    That said, this photo is worth more than Hunter’s hard drive, this truly says GAME OVER, the hard drive was probably done to get people’s attention before this asteroid hit.

    Bannon says Biden cannot be president now because he cannot get a security clearance. I say “that is true”, but only WE, THE PEOPLE, can enforce it. DO NOT LET BIDEN BECOME PRESIDENT, DO NOT LET KAMALA BECOME PRESIDENT, that is all there is to it even if “the election” “puts them in” and only shooting will stop it.


  5. Does anyone know how this THEFT can be stopped? Most here know Biden cannot possibly win this election. Just look at the rallies. Then again, maybe it’s a good thing…because it will finally get us into the streets…Although Trump’s recent behavior re providing the vaccine for those in extended care is not acceptable, he is still the far better choice than a demented, criminal and groping Joe Biden.


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