Who is going to win? That is the question everyone is asking.
After 24 years and 1,283 political campaign victories, including three winning U.S. Presidential races, I will break down how I see the race heading into Election Day.
Our partnership with the largest data collection, analytics, and AI company in the United States has given me a behind the scenes look at what’s really going on with American voters. Utilizing our database of 200 million+ Americans, 550 million+ connected devices, tracking 10 billion+ daily online decisions, and over 1 trillion daily searches, and comparing it to all the other outside data and polling, I have a unique perspective on how this election will turn out (and we’ve given this data away for free since March).
Hold on tight. It’s not what you think…
Here’s the thing, 99% of this election is not about persuading undecided voters. There are too few left. I believe this election is about how the candidates and their campaigns motivate their supporters to get out and vote. My breakdown is not close to what you will read in the mainstream media. Let’s dive in.
1. STATE OF THE VOTERS:
Two storylines have emerged in the final weeks. The mainstream and left-wing media outlets have already assumed a Biden victory is in the bag. For example: As of this writing, The Economist gives Biden a 96% to win the election. Their reasoning?
- Almost every public media poll has Biden up big, both nationally and in key electoral states. You can check out how they aggregate the polls here.
- An unprecedented voter turnout that has already occurred can only benefit Joe Biden (with the presumption that it’s a highly motivated anti-Trump vote). Here is one example.
On the other hand, Trump supporters are more confident in a victory than at any point since the pandemic began, due to a few factors:
- Universal distrust in the national media polling (which got it wrong in 2016) and a belief in new voter modeling pointing to Trump momentum in key states heading into Election Day.
- The belief in strong leadership in uncertain times will carry Trump to election victory.
- Optimism with the economic comeback and the promise of a COVID-19 vaccine.
2. TOP MOTIVATIONS DRIVING VOTERS TO THE POLLS:
- Biden Voters. The top issues motivating Biden voters to get out and vote? They deal almost exclusively in non-policy issues, including:
1. Fervently Anti-Trump — A vote against Trump is more important than a vote for Biden.
2. Continued fear around the coronavirus and wanting new leadership to address the pandemic differently.
3. Returning decency to the White House.
- Trump Voters. The top issues motivating Trump’s voters to get out and vote? Much like Biden voters, Trump supporters are motivated to turn out by Trump himself. But they are motivated by specific policy issues, as well:
1. Loyalty to Trumpism and a belief that Trump will continue to be the Molotov cocktail to the entire federal government/mainstream media apparatus.
2. Belief that Trump’s record on the economy will continue to pull us out of the economic calamity.
3. Belief that Trump’s leadership will keep us safe from COVID-19, China, wokeism, lawlessness, liberal policies, and biased news media.
- Independent/non-affiliated swing voters that are turning out in large numbers this election are motivated by:
1. Voting for need not want — We’ve seen this in our data since April as the driving force for Americans making political and economic decisions. And I’ve written about this concept here. This pool of Americans are voting based on what they “need” in these uncertain times vs. what they “want” to vote for (“Want” would have been the choice in the pre-coronavirus world when life was blissful and there was more “certainty” in our society).
2. Safety, safety, safety — As we’ve seen for months, voters are motivated by the need for safety above all else, which I’ve written about here and here. They want certainty and want our president to protect and grow the economy, keep our streets safe, and protect us from the virus (by finding a cure).
3. Optimistic leadership — The “doom and gloom” messaging is over for these voters. They want to see optimism and strength from their president.
3. VOTERS ARE BEING MISLED HEADING INTO ELECTION DAY IN THREE WAYS:
- Most media polling is not scientific, and “national media polls” are completely useless. If we’ve learned anything since 2016, it’s that public polling is all over the place. The reason being is that Americans have drastically changed their communication habits to take polls (away from relying too heavily on live phone calls to text and social media surveying). I could write an entire post on this one topic, but for brevity’s sake, here are four reasons public polling gets it wrong over and over again.
1. Most public polls rely too heavily on live callers for their methodology.
2. Most public polls sample too many Democratic voters and too few Republican voters.
3. Most public polls rely on surveying “registered voters” (too many unlikely voters in their sample) rather than “likely voters.”
4. Most public polls take too long to conduct and use pre-approved voters that agree to be polled in advance (rather than polling them randomly).
Unfortunately for you, the most accurate polling companies are conducting private polls — which are not released to the public. However, there are outliers — pay attention to the polling firms that have consistently gotten it right in recent elections. For example, The Trafalgar Group is one of the only polling firms that picked Trump to win in 2016. They are also a complete innovator, disruptor, and outlier in polling methodology — and now they are releasing some of their polls publicly (another interesting outlier survey firm to pay attention to right now Invisibly.com).
- Little acknowledgment by the mainstream media and polling companies of the “Social Desirability Bias” and the “Shy Trump Voter.” In today’s cancel culture, a large percentage of voters are falling into these two categories. The “Social Desirability Bias” is when a voter answers a polling operator in a way that makes them look best (in the eyes of the person asking the question). The voter may say they are voting for Biden or Trump in a poll but take the exact opposite position when voting on election day. The “Shy Trump Voter,” on the other hand, was a proven fact in 2016. Spectrum News recently defined the “Shy Trump Voter”: “A recent online study that found Republicans and independents are twice as likely as Democrats to admit to withholding their true preference to public opinion pollsters about who they will vote for in the presidential election is reviving claims of the “shy Trump voter.”
- Social media’s manipulation of you and the election. I wrote here and here about social media’s looming disruption, largely because of the overt biases toward President Trump and his supporters. For the purposes of this presidential election, consider these three points:
1. Twitter life is not real life. Glenn Greenwald, a liberal journalist, recently tweeted data from the Pew Research Center: “Just 10% of [Twitter] users produced 92% of all tweets from US adults since last November, and 69% of these highly prolific users identify as Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents.”
2. Social Media censorship is backfiring. Two recent examples include: This excellent expose’ from liberal journalist Matt Taibbi and this “Project Veritas” expose’ on Google censoring searches.
3. Restriction on social media political advertising in the final week of the political election cycle. While you might like seeing less political ads on social media platforms, this is another attempt to suppress free speech. When candidates and their campaigns are banned from advertising on social media platforms (at a time voters are paying the most attention to the election) but able to advertise on traditional TV, radio, physical mail, and email, social media platforms hardly pass the smell test.