I’m far too dumb to be able to shed any light on polls, but I do know something about celebrity and I think I can guarantee this: If President Trump wins re-election, Robert Cahaly is going to become very famous very quickly.
Who is Robert Cahaly? The chief pollster for the Trafalgar Group, the only major polling organization that publishes its results and correctly predicted Donald Trump’s 2016 victories in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Cahaly predicts Trump is again going to win Michigan, along with Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Arizona and Texas. He calculates that Trump will be reelected with roughly 280 electoral votes.
You can, and should, listen to Cahaly make these bold predictions on a special edition of The Editors podcast in which Rich Lowry interviews Cahaly for an hour (he writes about it here). I’ve been bobbing along with the conventional wisdom that says Trump is headed for a blowout defeat in the popular vote and the Electoral College, but Cahaly has a completely different take. It’s wild.
The pollster says that he employs different methods from his competitors and warns that the others are badly underestimating how social-desirability bias is artificially inflating Joe Biden’s numbers. People who hate Trump are willing, indeed eager, to give up their time to talk about how much they hate Trump, according to this view. And some polls take a long time, offering a slate of 20 or 25 questions to go through. You have to really want your opinion to be counted if you’re willing to give away that much of your time for nothing.