Demonizing Trump and his voters leads to 'secret' voters

Some supporters of Donald Trump proudly tout their loyalty with “Make America Great Again” T-shirts and hats, taking delight in the irritation they may cause critics of the president. There’s even a thriving market for Trump tattoos, which take that provocation to an entirely new — not to mention permanent — level.

But some who voted for Trump kept quiet about casting their vote for him in the 2016 election, fearing condemnation from friends, family and co-workers. A new study finds that “secret” Trump voters were twice as common as “secret” voters for Hillary Clinton. In fact, more than half of all secret voters were Trump supporters.

The study may explain why polls so badly misjudged the election, practically handing it to Clinton. The apparent hesitation people may have had about admitting support for Trump is a variation on the so-called Bradley effect, in which poll respondents overstate support for an African-American candidate.

Given how divisive Trump remains, the same effect could repeat itself in 2020. Polls in battleground states have recently shown Trump falling behind former vice president and Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden. But these polls, like the ones that showed Clinton winning in 2016, could be failing to tap into a secret reserve of support for Trump.

The new study, “Motivated Secrecy: Politics, Relationships, and Regrets” was co-authored by Michael Slepian and Rachel McDonald of Columbia Business School, Jessica Salerno of Arizona State University and Katharine Greenaway of the University of Melbourne. It will be published in the social science journal Motivational Science.

The study began just after the surprising 2016 presidential election results. The researchers located 1,000 people “who secretly voted for someone other than whom they publicly claimed to have voted for.” They found that 53 percent of these secret voters voted for Trump, while 27 percent voted for Clinton. Another 19 percent voted for a third party candidate (some believe that support for fringe candidates like Jill Stein and Gary Johnson swung the election to Trump).
I suspect the same thing happened in the recent Australian election where the left was flabbergasted that it was defeated and the polls were wrong.  They had the same toxic combination of Climate change extremists and tax increases.  In otherwords, the left in both countries is made up of control freaks who denigrate anyone with disagrees with them.


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