Enthusiasm of Likely Voters

All of the national polls are based on a group of “likely voters” which is a pollster’s best guess on who will actually turn out and vote. This is a different group than registered voters, who all may not participate to vote. 

To determine likely voters, pollsters ask respondents qualifying questions and then score each answer. This then results in a total score for each respondent. The higher the score the more likely that person is to turn out and vote.

Pollsters also have to estimate what the turnout will be. Will it be 50%, 60%, or what?  Then they take their estimated turnout percentage and apply it to their index of scores from all respondents. If they believe, for example, the turnout will be 55%, then the top 55% of scores will determine the likely voters that will be used in their poll.

In 2012 the likely voters polling was different than the actual results. The average of polls had Obama ahead by a slim margin over Romney, but the actual results were Obama by 3.9%. That’s 3 percentage points higher than the average of likely voter polls prior to the election. 




The polling in 2012 may have been skewed because of an enthusiasm gap between two subsets of the electorate. Black voters turned out and voted in a higher percentage than white voters did for the first time in U.S. history. They turned out in high numbers on Election Day to support Barack Obama for a second term being America’s first black president. The second subset was Christians who stayed home because they weren’t eager to vote for a Mormon. 

It was thought prior to the election that enthusiasm was on Romney’s side, but only 57 million voted for him, compared to 60 million who voted for John McCain in 2008. Obama’s vote total was 10 million lower than in 2008, which had the highest percentage of voter turnout since 1968.

2016 Likely Voters

The group of likely voters in 2016 may not capture all of Trump’s supporters and may capture too many of Clinton supporters. The polling models may not account for Donald Trump’s supporter’s enthusiasm and the lack thereof of enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton. Anecdotal evidence for support for Donald Trump are his rallies that routinely draw 10,000 to 20,000 people while attendees to Clintons’ are much smaller.

If there are several points not accounted for, like in 2012, then the Trump campaign can win this election. They cannot count on it, though, and need to close the gap especially in swing states. They have an opportunity with the final debate to make inroads and there are also potentially damaging revelations from leaked documents that still could hurt Clinton.

Donald Trump has campaigned with great energy to speak to his supporters and to all Americans by traveling state to state and doing multiple rallies every day. All of his supporters need to reciprocate by voting with great energy on November 8th. Voting with great energy is not letting any excuse stop you from voting or stopping someone you know from voting for Trump. Make your plan now.

The media will try and suppress Trump’s votes as they have all along with their biased coverage, but Trump supporters cannot be dismayed and need to enthusiastically prove that the pollsters models of likely voter turnout are invalid by swarming to the election polling centers with great energy to elect Donald Trump as our next president.

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