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February 18, 2020

NeverTrumper Bret Stephens: FEAR the Secret Trump Voters

His basic point is that the censorious, Cancel Culture left hasn't made any converts -- just people who lie about their actual political affiliation, to keep from losing their jobs.

But the voting booth is a secret place, isn't it?

Which brings me to what is perhaps the biggest whisper network of all: the one involving inner flashes of sympathy, frequently tipping into support at the ballot box, for President Trump.

Plenty of people are aware of this phenomenon: One recent academic study noted that so-called secret voters supported Trump over Hillary Clinton by a two-to-one (54 percent to 27 percent) margin in 2016. That statistic should be every bit as alarming to Democrats this time around, not least because it suggests that polls may be dramatically underweighting the scale of Trump's support.


Yet beyond the question of why people might want to conceal their voting preferences -- reputation management, social harmony, and so on -- it's worth asking whether the very fact that a vote for Trump was supposed to be shameful is also what made it so attractive. After all, forbidden fruit is appealing not because it is fruit, but because it is forbidden. For every voter who pulled the lever for Trump out of sympathy for his views, how many others did so out of disdain for the army of snickering moralists (at the time including me) telling them that a vote for Trump was unpardonable?

My hunch: probably enough to make the difference in the states that made the difference.

I would also guess that the number has only grown as the censorious left has become more aggressive and promiscuous in its condemnations.

In related news: Gallup's new poll of party affiliation shows the GOP up +3 over Democrats, 30% to 27%. Independents are at 42%.

Meanwhile... Trump hits highest level of support in NBC's biased poll, and hits 50% job approval with independents for first time:



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posted by Ace at 06:11 PM

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