Republican nominee Donald Trump has been consistently behind in the polls by a sizeable margin. His campaign manager believes this is because there is an army of undercover voters who will not admit to supporting the business mogul but who will vote for him on election day.
On Aug. 23, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway suggested that the general election polls have been misleading during an interview on U.K. television’s Channel 4.
“Donald Trump performs consistently better in online polling where a human being is not talking to another human being about what he or she may do in the elections,” Conway said, according to The Guardian.
The campaign manager explained that many likely voters may feel ashamed about openly supporting Trump.
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“People who are supporting Donald Trump, who have noted voted Republican in the past, who have not voted in quite a while, are so tired of arguing with family and friends and colleagues about their support of Donald Trump that they just decided not to discuss it,” Conway said.
Trump is currently lagging behind his general election opponent, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Aggregating the last seven national polls released since Aug. 4, Real Clear Politics found that Clinton currently leads Trump by an average 6 percentage points.
On July 25, Democratic pollster Celinda Lake echoed Conway’s theory, stating that she was concerned that there was a sizeable number of undercover voters for the GOP nominee.
“I worry that there is a bit of a secret Trump vote,” Lake told the Washington Examiner.
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“The pattern is in the online surveys, even if you control for demographics, Trump does 3 to 9 points better than in telephone surveys,” Lake explained. “So it really does suggest that there is a secret vote for Donald Trump.”
Lake’s comments arrived during the Democratic National Convention. Trump’s slide in polls began shortly after the convention, so it is unclear if the Democratic pollster’s findings still apply.
Conway believes the Trump campaign can reach these undercover voters by going “to them where they live, literally.”
It is unclear how Conway intends to do this, given that Trump himself has previously dismissed efforts for his campaign to conduct grassroots outreach to mobilize voters.
“I don’t know that we need to get out the vote,” Trump told Fox News on Aug. 11, reports Talking Points Memo. “I think people that really want to vote, they’re gonna just get up and vote for Trump. And we’re going to make America great again.”