Speed Reads

Shy Trumpers

Are embarrassed Donald Trump voters skewing the polls? These GOP insiders think so.

Maybe call it self-rigging the polls. A group of Republican activists, strategists, and operatives in 11 battleground states — Politico's Caucus group — overwhelmingly believes that Donald Trump's support is being undercounted in the polls, because people are embarrassed to admit that they are supporting the GOP nominee. "I personally know many Republicans that won't admit that they are voting for Trump," one Virginia Republican said in the anonymous survey. "I don't like admitting it myself. It won't matter if Hillary is up more than 5 points, but we might be in for a surprise if Hillary's lead is less than 5 points on Election Day."

While 71 percent of Politico's GOP insiders believe there is a "shy Trump" effect in play, 74 percent of Democrats say the polls aren't undercounting Trump voters.


There was no real evidence of a "shy Trump" effect in the Republican primaries, FiveThirtyEight found, and many of Politico's insiders said that even if there were bashful Trump voters out there, it probably wouldn't tip the scales — 59 percent of the GOP insiders said they think Clinton would win their state if the election were held right now. Republican insiders, of course, aren't Trump's best demographic. "He doesn't understand policy, he doesn't care about policy, and he's not a conservative," a Virginia GOP participant told Politico. "So you just handed a one-year-old an iPhone. He'll try to push the buttons but not in any manner that makes sense or works."