In 2016, when President Donald Trump competed against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Trafalgar Group was one of the few organizations to correctly predict Trump’s upset.
Four years ago, contradicting the vast majority of public polling, Trafalgar’s research showed Trump ahead in the key states of Pennsylvania, Florida and Michigan. Trump ultimately carried all three battlegrounds.
Speaking with anchor Sean Hannity, Cahaly said that he believes history will repeat itself.
“I see the president winning with a minimum high 270s and possibly going up significantly higher based on just how big this undercurrent is,” he said.
Cahaly said that he expects Trump to beat Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in North Carolina, Florida, Ohio and Georgia, even though most polls show that the two candidates are virtually tied or put Biden ahead in these states.
The pollster argued that Trump is being underestimated, because surveys can’t account for “hidden” support.
“What we’ve noticed is that these polls are predominantly missing the hidden Trump vote,” he said, suggesting that respondents who support the commander-in-chief often withhold information from polling organizations and sometimes refuse to participate in surveys, which creates a skewed picture of the electorate.
“There is a clear feeling among conservatives and people that are for the president that they’re not interested in sharing their opinions readily… These people… are more hesitant to participate in polls. So if you’re not compensating for this… you’re not going to get honest answers.”
Cahaly added that he sees the upcoming presidential debate, which is scheduled for Thursday night, as a chance for Trump to change the trajectory of the race.
He said that Trump will have an opportunity to put his opponent “on the spot” before a bipartisan, national audience, especially if he focuses his attacks on the Democrat’s son, Hunter.
Some of Cahaly’s colleagues don’t agree with this assessment. On Tuesday, prominent Republican pollster Frank Luntz described Trump’s 2020 campaign as “the worst” he has ever seen, saying that the commander-in-chief and his advisers are focusing on the wrong issues.
He said that voters simply don’t care about the alleged scandals involving Hunter Biden, suggesting that the coronavirus pandemic and the economy should the focal point of the campaign’s message.
As Luntz noted, poll averages from FiveThirtyEight show Biden ahead in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Arizona and Florida.