In 2016, an internationally recognized personality expert predicted President Donald Trump would win the election when so many pollsters got it wrong. This year he thinks the outcome will be different.
In the days leading up to the 2016 election, most national polls showed Hillary Clinton having anywhere from a 3 to 6% lead. The Quinnipiac University poll released on Oct. 19, 2016, had Clinton, in a head-to-head matchup against Trump, 6 points ahead with a 3.1% margin or error.
Quinnipiac University Poll Director Doug Schwartz said the polls in 2016 “were about as accurate as any other presidential election year when compared with final results.”
Schwartz said the polls in late October were capturing a snapshot in time.
“Additionally, polls at this time in 2016 were not predicting the final result, but were instead providing a snapshot of public opinion at the time. Exit polls very clearly showed that late deciding voters – voters who decided a few days before Election Day – broke strongly for Trump in multiple important swing states,” Schwartz said.
Paul Tieger, the personality expert who surveyed 2,700 people in 2016, concluded that, based on people’s personality type, 75% of the U.S. population is conservative, and 25% is liberal. Four years ago, Tieger said Trump had never been a traditional conservative but he had a much bigger pool of people who were naturally hard-wired to receive his message.
But Tieger doesn’t believe that’s going to be the outcome this year.
“There’s a big factor here, which is Trump. It’s been four years,” Tieger said. “One of the things I’ll say is the reason so many people like Trump is because there are so many people like Trump. But even a lot of those folks have come to the conclusion that they don’t support, on a human level, the things that he’s done.”
On Friday, a Quinnipiac University poll had former Vice President Joe Biden ahead of Trump by 10 points, with a 2.6% margin of error.
Four years ago Tieger concluded that the pollsters didn’t ask the right questions. He said they ask questions about demographics when they should be asking about values and how they see the world.
“Polls which rely on demographic factors in its analysis can yield inaccurate results,” Tieger said, “because type often trumps (no pun intended) demographics. For example, two same-sex fraternal twins born moments apart, raised by the same parents in the same home, will almost always have very different personality types, which affect their attitudes, values, talents . . . and voting behavior.”
Schwartz said they weight their polls by education, race, gender, and age. They don’t weigh by income level.
Schwartz said there’s nothing much that has changed over the past four years when it comes to how they conduct their polls.
“As for polling in 2020 – while there is a lot going on this year, not much has changed for us,” Schwartz said. “Our polls are now conducted by remote interviewers instead of interviewers in a phone bank; otherwise, our methodology has remained the same. We have always accounted for early voters and continue to do so this year.”
Trafalgar Group Chief Pollster Robert Cahaly, who accurately predicted the 2016 presidential election, claims Trump will win again in 2020. In several interviews with national news outlets, he attributes the victory to “shy” Trump voters who might not be willing to share their support for the president with a typical pollster.
This year, Tieger said he believes that undecided voters are “going on the Trump train, a lot more than the Biden train.”
Tieger believes if people haven’t made up their minds yet then they are likely to vote for Trump because if there’s nothing in the past four years that hasn’t caused them to object to him, then they are voting for him.