US Midterm: Poll shows ‘hidden Trump vote’

Art Moore

Many analysts believe that pollsters misfired in 2016 because of “hidden” support for President Trump, and if a new Rasmussen survey is any indication, the prognosticators may be wrong again and a “silent red wave” is cresting just as Election Day arrives.

As in 2016, Democrats are more outspoken about how they’re going to vote in the upcoming elections than Republicans and unaffiliated voters are, Rasmussen found.

The national telephone and online survey found that 60 percent of likely Democratic voters say they are more likely to let others know how they intend to vote this year compared to previous congressional elections.

The result compares to 49 percent of Republicans and 40 percent of voters not affiliated with either major political party.

In August 2016, 52 percent of Democrats were more likely to let others know how they intended to vote in the upcoming presidential election, compared to 46 percent of Republicans and 34 percent of unaffiliated voters.

Rasmussen observed that some analysts “before and after Donald Trump’s upset victory suggested that most pollsters missed his hidden support among voters fearful of criticism who were unwilling to say where they stood.”

Democrat PTSD

Meanwhile, Politico reported that on the eve of the midterms, Democrats are “haunted by memories of 2016.”

“They’re suspicious of favorable polls and making election night contingency plans in case their worst fears come true. Some report literal nightmares about a Democratic wipeout.”

Democratic pollster John Anzalone, a Hillary Clinton campaign alumnus who spent election night 2016 in Clinton’s Manhattan war room, told Politico the shock of Trump’s upset victory still hangs over many in the party.

“There’s some PTSD,” he said.

Politico noted a study published last month in the Journal of American College Health found that symptoms of trauma from the 2016 election results were experienced by one-quarter of college students.

Exceptional turnout

On Monday in Cleveland, Trump invoked the final days of the 2016 campaign, comparing his upset victory then to Republicans defying the polls now and potentially keeping both houses of Congress.

Most polls indicate Republicans will maintain control of the Senate and possibly increase their 51-49 majority while losing the House.

The GOP is defending dozens of seats in largely suburban districts where Trump’s popularity has ebbed, according to polls, and Democrats have performed well in presidential races.

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report shifted nine House races toward Democrats in a new forecast published Monday, the Hill reported.

What’s clear is that there is more voter enthusiasm than usual among both Democrats and Republicans.

The bellwether state of Florida, with hotly contested races for governor and a Senate seat, has seen record-high early voting totals ahead of Election Day.

WPTV-TV in Palm Beach reported turnout this election cycle is almost double what it was in 2014. As of Friday, according to the News Press of Fort Meyers, more than 4.1 million Floridians had already cast a ballot while in 2014, 3.1 million early ballots were cast.

Republicans were leading in early voting turnout statewide by about 60,000 ballots, though Democrats were leading in urban areas.

In Texas, where Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke arose from obscurity to challenge Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, the nearly 4.9 million early voters has already surpassed turnout in the previous midterm elections. Hispanics nationwide, according to a Reuters/Ipsos national tracking poll released on Sunday, are more interested in voting this year than in the last U.S. congressional midterm elections in 2014, and their enthusiasm outpaces that of all U.S. adults.