The Debate on the Silent Majority

By Team Remesh on November 07, 2016

Poking about the so-called “Bradley Effect,” Trump’s “Undercover” Voters, and General Dissatisfaction.

Recently, a qualitative and quantitative research study conducted by PSB Research, using our platform, recorded the opinions of 275 respondents, representative of the broader electorate, about their feeling towards presidential candidates. During the forty-minute session, the moderator asked probing questions surrounding likeability of each candidate, as well as their reactions to questions asked during the debates.

 

Some results from the our conversation:

Nearly all participants responded that they liked “Nothing” about either candidate, including nearly all of the independents. The graphic belows shows 5 personality traits that voters typically rely upon to make their decisions and what qualities were driving those traits for each candidate:

What can we draw? There is a hyper-partisan environment. Of our participants, thirty percent were for Trump, thirty percent for Hillary, the remaining undecided or swing. A constant source of debate throughout this election cycle has been “Where will the middle fall?” Tomorrow, we find out.

 

Trump’s Undercover Voters

Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway urges America to understand the magnitude of what the campaign team calls the “Undercover Trump Voter,” or the “silent majority.” Conway explains:

“Donald Trump performs consistently better in online polling where a human being is not talking to another human being about what he or she may do in the election. It is because it has become socially desirable, if you are a college educated person in the United States of America, to say that you are against Donald Trump.”

In live polls or surveys, which involve a person to person interaction, Hillary has a significantly wider margin than in anonymous polls. One may reasonably infer that people are just more embarrassed to admit to a person that they want to vote for Trump. Trump has begun to call himself “Mr. Brexit” in reference to the phenomenon across the pond, where polls suggested Britain would vote to stay in the European Union despite the unexpected outcome.

 

The Bradley Effect

The 1982 California gubernatorial elections produced what is commonly referred to as “The Bradley Effect,” less commonly, the Wilder Effect. The theory explains why sometimes voter opinion polls don’t accurately predict elections. In the example from which the theory gained its fame, Tom Bradley was poised to become the first African-American governor of California, or so the polls indicated. His loss led many pollsters and political researchers to theorize that perhaps many voters declared their support for Bradley in polls out of fear of accusations of racism. Driven by sexism instead of racism, will this happen again 2016?

 

This study revealed participants across the political spectrum are overwhelmingly unsatisfied with both candidates. Tomorrow we hear what the majority really has to say.

Thanks to Penn Schoen Berland and P2Sample for their help with this study. For questions or more information please contact info@remesh.org.

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