Are "shy Trump voters" a real thing?

I’ve heard lots of people speculate that the polls are underestimating Trump’s support, because there are allegedly significant numbers of Trump supporters who are too afraid to respond truthfully to poll takers.

Is there any real evidence to that effect? I realize this is entirely anecdotal, but here in Central Pennsylvania the Trump signs and bumper stickers outnumber Biden signs 20 to 1. If anything, it seems to be Biden supporters who are “shy”, at least around my area.

Shy Trump voters are likely a myth, but polls aren’t perfect

An accepted polling practice to see if voters are afraid to give a certain answer they deem to be socially undesirable is to compare the results when a live interviewer is present and when one isn’t. Biden’s national lead is still 8 points in polls that don’t use live interviews at this point. That is a little lower than in polls that do use live interviewers and call cell phones, though that gap has only recently appeared and may just be a statistical artifact. No matter how you measure it, Biden is ahead and by a not insignificant margin.

Well, it’s Central Pennsylvania. Do you think that’s true at the east and west ends of the state?

I’m sure there are some and there are some shy Biden voters deep in Trump country. How well they can be detected or counted at all is open to question.

It happened consistently with Silvio Berlusconi over decades so I guess is it possible indeed that Trump’s supporters are hiding their intention to vote for him out of shame. Pity they do not feel the same shame when voting. Or looking in the mirror.

If I voted for Trump (as a Canadian, I could not do so), I sure wouldn’t be advertising it.

Can you provide some data on this? I’m curious by what amount Berlusconi over-performed his polls.

The historical touchpoint for this has always been “Shy Tories”. Most of the serious studying of that effect showed that it was other flaws in polling methodology rather than true “shy Tories”, but it can happen I suppose.

One item that shows that there might be less conservative shy voters than speculated, is that friendly to them outfits like FOX news pollsters recently reported a big drop of support for Trump in several battleground states.

I think shy voters are a real thing in every election. Not everyone in urban areas is a liberal and not everyone in rural areas is a conservative.

Well of course. But the question is “do potential voters hesitate to tell pollsters (live or automated) their true voting intentions?”.

I could totally understand not telling your friends, family, or neighbors - but why lie to a pollster you don’t know? Or a computer? Or in an online poll? I don’t quite understand the mechanics of that.

From talking to some Trump voters, they are convinced that these polls aren’t actually anonymous and that a pollster could/will use their voting response to doxx and harass them.

I told them that, as someone who’s worked in the political polling/research field before, pollsters have absolutely zero interest or energy/time to doxx or harass poll respondents, but they would have none of it.

Yeah, but that’s central Pennsylvania - Trump country. How many Trump bumper stickers or MAGA hats would you see in downtown Pittsburgh or Philadelphia? Those are the places where a Trump voter would need to be undercover.

OK, that actually makes some sense.

And I know there are some individuals that like to prank pollsters or mess with them by answering inaccurately. I can’t imagine it’s a huge number, but I guess it’s possible.

I was hoping to try to get a “worst case” scenario kind of number for this, but it’s really hard to disentangle this source of polling error from all of the others, at least from the handful of articles I’ve read about it.

Exactly, and if you aren’t in the mood for a political discussion that could turn into an argument, you keep your views to yourself.

Sorry, I remember it clearly, I read it repeatedly, for instance in the Spanish “El País” and the German “Der Spiegel”, but I can’t find the data now. But the difference was significant, up to 10% if I remember correctly. And I remember it because it was so sad and depressing. He was a real Trump precursor, I am afraid. So many things were there: the connections to the mafia, pretending to be a successful businessman, the cheating, the women (bunga-bunga), the organized and systematic theft, the lack of shame, the racism, the disdain for courts and justice, yucky tacky TV stations, the fake hair, the tall man shoes… It was so tasteless that some people would simply not recognize that they would vote for him, not in public or even in an anonymous interview, but did so anyway in the end.

There’s the Bradley Effect, where white voters tell posters - even in exit polls after they voted - that they support a Black candidate while actually voting for the white opponent.

An alternate explanation is that undecided voters tend to end up voting for the more conservative candidate.

There’s no evidence in the polls for “shy Trump voters”. If they exist, it’s very possible they’re offset by shy Biden voters. In 2016, the polls were largely on target except for 3 states. In 2018, they were largely on target overall.

From what I’ve read, it’s not that they’re shy, they’re just troll’n.

Cuz, ya know, stoopid Libtards.

Anecdotally, I was dating a lady I met on POF. After we hit it off (initially) she confessed to me she voted for Trump. She did it for health care reasons (too expensive). Now she regrets it, and the only two people she was brave enough to tell was me and her daughter. Her daughter didn’t speak to her for weeks.

Oh come over and test our system, we encourage people to do so. After we find out that people can vote twice we need to test to see if foreigners can vote.

I think so. With the attacks against the Trumpsters for wearing a hat. Or friends/ relatives divorce you if you even mention him. Why engage?