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USC Experimental Model Polling Calculation Forecasts Donald Trump Election Victory

They’re accounting for what they call social desirability bias.



A polling method utilized by the University of Southern California’s Dornslife College is predicting that President Donald Trump will secure an electoral college victory, deviating from many polling models produced by corporate media in accounting for what they call a “social desirability bias.”

USC’s polling model seeks to account for what they’re citing as shy Trump supporters by asking poll respondents how they believe that those in their own immediatel social circles will vote. The theorists behind the poll argue that such a line of questioning allows respondents more inclined to disclose information to reveal how so-called shy Trump supporters will vote.

“To evaluate the potential impact of the shy voter belief on the responses of poll participants, we asked them three questions: What percent of their social contacts might be embarrassed to admit to pollsters their opinions about Trump or Biden, what percent might fear harassment if they admit these opinions, and what percent might want to obstruct polls by misreporting who they will vote for?

On average, our participants believe that people in their social circle might be more reluctant to admit their support for Trump than for Biden.

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When the presence of socially identified shy Trump voters is accounted for, the USC pollsters ultimately make a cautious prediction that Biden will fail to secure 270 electoral college votes.

When we calculate how many electoral votes each candidate could get based on state level averages of the own-intention and social-circle questions, it’s looking like an Electoral College loss for Biden.

Read the entire USC/Dornslife prediction of the 2020 election, how they account for shy Trump supporters, and what they’re defining as social desirability bias here.

Jim Key of USC points to previous correct predictions of the USC/Dornslife polling model in support of the method’s veracity. He argues that the polling organization correctly predicted the outcomes ofthe  2016 U.S. Presidential election, the 2017 French Presidential election, the 2017 Dutch Parliamentary election, the 2018 Swedish Parliamentary election, and the 2018 U.S. election for the House of Representatives.

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