Hidden Voters

The Washington Post asks if there are hidden Hillary Clinton voters as well as hidden Donald Trump voters. The idea is simple and obvious: pollsters may encounter husbands, who will speak for their wives (as men do, 'mansplaining' and what). But if you manage to slip back in and speak to the wife, she will tell you that Trump is unacceptable and that she means to vote for Clinton.

That's a kind of thought that accounts only for one specific kind of polling, which isn't that common now: mostly polls are not conducted by canvassing neighborhoods, but by phone or over the internet. On the other hand, I'm sure pollsters will have missed my mother, who is certainly voting for Clinton on exactly those grounds. It's not that she wants what Clinton represents. It's that Clinton is the devil we know, which is the safer way to vote (as the Gods of the Copybook Headings remind us); and that Trump is unacceptable in his manner towards women.

They won't have missed my mother because my father spoke for her. They'll have missed her because she doesn't answer phone calls from strangers. Still, the sentiment they ascribe to her is exactly correct.

I've been on the road all weekend, and last weekend before. Georgia is supposed to be a swing state this year, according to the polls. You wouldn't know it from the road signs. I haven't seen one Clinton sign anywhere, except for a billboard her campaign must have bought. I've seen Trump signs everywhere. In Athens, which is a university town, some of the Trump signs had been defaced (typically for college kids, they cut out the T and the P, leaving a call for "Rum!"). But there were no Clinton signs at all. If this state is really divided on a razor's edge, you'd think there would be some evidence of it.

The support pollsters are picking up on for her may be illusory, of course. It may be an artifact of their weighting categories, and assumptions about who will show up on election day. We'll know that in due time.

I do believe that there are hidden Trump voters, especially among college educated whites. It is never cool to support the Republican, but it has never been less cool than this year. Still, educated men and women can perhaps best see how disastrous the current course is, if they will see it. But maybe they just refuse: international friends suggest that the image that this is a race between an unjustly demonized woman and a fascist racist man has become the general view. Trump has faced 3 assassination attempts, but he's seen as the candidate of street violence. Clinton had her Filipina maid print out classified emails though non-citizens are not even eligible for a security clearance (and though printers are also supposed to be rated for handling classified information -- off-the-shelf ones keep stored images of what they have recently printed), and engaged in insider trading of classified secrets through her daughter, but she's been "cleared" by the FBI. All those charges were false, you see. Somehow. If you want to believe it enough, it is easy to believe it.

No predictions about the election will you get from me. I have no idea what is going to happen tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

I have been monitoring two subreddits, TrollXChromosomes and TwoXChromosomes. Both of these subreddits, which have purported to be non-political, have been regularly posting extremely nasty posts about DJT, carrying false information. They censor the gentlest pushback. Their numbers of up votes do not justify their placement on the front page.

Further, both TrollX and TwoX have had a strong history of maverick humor from women, a factor that has completely disappeared. Suddenly all of the comments are in lockstep (once the pushback is removed.)

Meanwhile, it is public knowledge that an organization sarcastically described as "Correct the Record" has spent at least 6 million dollars as of several months ago specifically to control Reddit posts. Draw what conclusions you will.


Tom said...

I have a prediction. Heartache, misery, and despair, for about a third of the country.