Many polls failed to capture the enthusiasm gap between Trump voters and Clinton voters, which contributed to Trump’s victory in Pennsylvania.
The signs were there – both in the data and anecdotally – that forecast the stunning outcome of last week’s presidential election. Many polls failed to capture the enthusiasm gap between Trump voters and Clinton voters, which contributed to Trump’s victory in Pennsylvania. My firm, Harper Polling, did not: we correctly forecast a dead heat in Pennsylvania when our final public poll
from Nov. 2-3 showed a 46-46 percent tie between Clinton and Trump. Based on our final analysis, here are the reasons Pennsylvanians voted the way they did.
It was a movement for Trump voters
Most polls attempt to gauge the enthusiasm of voters by simply asking them how likely they are to vote in the election or asking them to rate their interest in the election on a scale of 1 to 10. These conventional approaches were not sufficient.Our final survey of the presidential race in Pennsylvania added a second element to this, by putting voter sentiment about the race into plain language. Did voters view the last days of the race as: a) “complete torture, b) “a train wreck,” or c) “the most exciting election in years. I’m part of a movement.” Trump voters were more than three times as likely as Clinton voters to say “This is the most exciting election in years. I’m part of a movement” (30-9 percent). Similarly, there was evidence that Trump had mobilized base voters as Republicans were about twice as likely as Democrats to say they were part of a movement (26-14 percent). Conversely, Hillary Clinton’s voters were more pessimistic in their opinions about the race, with a plurality characterizing the election as “a train wreck” (42 percent).
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