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Findings from the Trafalgar Group, a political and corporate survey research firm, give President Donald Trump an edge to win out three fiercely contested swing states come November 3rd. According to a poll released on Saturday, Trump leads in Michigan by two points, Florida by two points, and Arizona by three.
With just over a week till election night, Trafalgar’s findings follow closely behind the final presidential debate on Friday night, one of the final opportunities for candidates to swing voter opinion.
Trump would need to win all three states to have a clean road to 270 electoral votes next Tuesday.
When running against Hillary in 2016, Trump wasn’t supposed to win Michigan, Arizona, or Florida, but surprised polling forecasts by narrowly taking all three—all of them by under a margin of five points. In 2016, Trump won Arizona with 48.1 percent of the vote. In Michigan, the President took 47.3 percent and in Florida he took 48.6 percent.
The closest of the three, Michigan, came down to a margin of .3 percent. Of the 37 polls conducted in the state, 36 favored Hillary Clinton. Trump’s victory in Michigan was a major political upset, running counter to the predictions of almost every single polling service in America, except for one notable exception: The Trafalgar Group. In Michigan, their predictions in 2016 put Trump ahead by two points. While they may have overshot his final margin of victory, they somehow managed to correctly predict an almost unforeseeable outcome.
Trafalgar, which was named by RealClearPolitics as “one of the most accurate polling operations in America,” seems to indicate the President might make a repeat performance.
There’s a few factors that set Trafalgar apart from many other polling services. For one, their polls make use of a wide range of sources for data. They use recorded calls, text messages, emails and other online methods, all while stressing participant anonymity. For another, Trafalgar polls are shorter than most polls, between seven and nine questions each.
Robert Cahaly, founder of The Trafalgar Group, recently told The National Review he believes results from longer polls will lean towards politically-inclined respondents.
“You end up disproportionately representing the people who will like to talk about politics, which is going to skew toward the very, very conservative and the very, very liberal and the very, very bored.” Cahaly said. “And the kind of people that win elections are the people in the middle. So I think they miss people in the middle when they do things that way.”
For another, Trafalgar.
Trump highlighted the poll’s findings while out on the campaign trail in-route to Michigan.
“I think it’s very good,” the president said, “We have had some polls come out—some very strong polls. Trafalgar: [they] called it very accurately last time.”
Joe Biden isn't taking any chances, Reporting from The Hill indicates that the Biden campaign has broken the all-time television spending record—more than $582 million total and $45 million in just the past week. Three new adds by Biden will be released on Thursday morning and will target Arizona, Florida, and Michigan among other states.
Cahaly remains confident in the Trafalgar Group’s findings.
“If it all happened right now, my best guess would be an Electoral College victory in the high to 270s, low 280s,” Cahaly said.