Patrick Basham’s Sunday Express article assesses US election polling
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Patrick Basham's Sunday Express article assesses US election polling

STALIN said it’s not important who votes but how they are counted writes PATRICK BASHAM
Joseph Stalin said it’s not important who votes, but how they do the counting. Fast forward to this American election and the late dictator’s wry remark rings eerily true.

PUBLISHED: 13:57, Sat, Nov 7, 2020 | UPDATED: 08:00, Sun, Nov 8, 2020


If you count the ballot fraud, most pollsters clearly failed. If you don’t include the fraudulent ballots, most pollsters failed on a spectacular scale.

The accurate pollsters were also the most accurate in 2016. Along with Richard Baris’ meticulous state-level Big Data Poll and Robert Cahaly’s innovative Trafalgar Group swing state surveys, our Democracy Institute Sunday Express polling pretty much nailed the 2020 election. 

Why were other pollsters wrong? 

They relied upon surveys of registered voters that skew Democratic because a third of the respondents don’t vote. We survey only “likely” voters who’ll actually cast a ballot. That’s why we gave the Democrats a two-point turnout advantage, rather than the double-digit advantage often found in media polls.

Most pollsters assumed a massive increase in turnout among pro-Democratic millennial, female, and minority voters. So, they heavily weighted their results to reflect this flawed assumption. Turnout would be somewhat higher than 2016, but nothing like the scale of the pro-Biden electorate these other polls’ imagined. 

 The actual, somewhat higher turnout was evenly divided among new voters from both parties. How did pollsters miss five million new Trump voters?

They refused to accept the Shy Trump voter was real in 2016. So, they didn’t look for them in 2020. We knew they were real, and we found far more of them this year. 

This time, Shy Trump voters were disproportionately Black males in urban areas and suburban White women. This data confirmed the significant movement of Black voters towards Trump – and the movement of a segment of suburban White women back to Trump. 

As a result, we predicted his higher Black vote to the actual percentage point. We also identified, due to Trump’s pro-law and order stance, that he’d suffer only minor, rather than seismic, losses among suburban women. 


Patrick Basham

‘If you count the ballot fraud, most pollsters clearly failed’ (Image: Getty )

Other correct calls include Trump’s precise national popular vote percentage and identifying the economy as the crucial issue. We forecast the large proportion of Hispanics voting for Trump, especially in Florida, Arizona, and Nevada. Jewish voters also chose Trump in higher than expected numbers; we forecast this exactly. Ditto for Trump’s spectacular evangelical vote.

As well as correctly forecasting Trump’s narrow margin with independents, we identified the exact high percentage of Republicans voting for Trump, which confirmed his base’s devotion.

We called Florida within a few decimal points, forecast Trump’s healthy margins in Iowa and Ohio and his modest victories in North Carolina and Georgia. We projected his forthcoming wins in Arizona and Nevada. 

I wrote last Sunday that, should our Biden popular vote projection be off by a couple of points, it would reflect voter fraud rather than our having missed a Biden landslide. My words were prescient. 

Biden did poorly in Florida, Texas, and Ohio, lacked a get-out-the-vote campaign, suffered lower student and minority turnout, and marshalled the most apathetic supporters in memory. Trump’s party held the Senate, gained numerous House seats, and didn’t lose a state legislature. 

It therefore defies logic Biden secured more votes than Barack Obama. If only valid votes are counted, Trump and Biden share the popular vote. 

Already, there is a mountain of evidence, direct and circumstantial, of widespread ballot fraud. This evidence is buttressed by the divergence between the supposed tallies in these contested states, the actual tallies in comparable Midwestern states, and the demonstrably accurate polls referenced earlier.



Trump’s victories in Michigan were on target until counting was arbitrarily halted (Image: Getty)

How curious that, as Baris notes, “Trump won the largest non-white vote share for a Republican presidential candidate in 60 years. Biden underperformed Hillary Clinton in every major metro area around the country, save for Milwaukee, Detroit, Atlanta and Philadelphia.”

Robert Barnes, the foremost election analyst, observes in these “big cities in swing states run by Democrats…the vote even exceeded the number of registered voters.” 

Trump’s victories in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin were on target until, in the middle of the night, counting was arbitrarily halted. Miraculously, several hundred thousand votes – all for Biden – were mysteriously ‘found’; Trump’s real leads subsequently vanished.

The protracted, eventual outcome will determine the contemporary relevance of Stalin’s observation. No matter who wins, most pollsters already have lost their credibility and influence.


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