President Donald Trump’s former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon says the polls claiming Democrats are certain to win a majority in the House of Representatives come the November midterm elections are not to be trusted.
In an interview Sunday with John Catsimatidis on his radio show “The Cats Roundtable,” Bannon reminded listeners that virtually all polls had Hillary Clinton edging out Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. And we all know how wrong the polls were two years ago.
“Even people that had voted for Donald Trump [in 2016] were unwilling to tell pollsters that they had done it,” Bannon said. “I think you’re seeing that again. I think the polls are understated for the Trump voters.”
A Republican victory in the House is dependent on whether President Trump’s supporters come out to vote. The president made several appearances in key House races, encouraging his supporters to vote, but voter turnout in midterm elections is historically low, especially compared to presidential elections. In other words, the House is a coin toss without knowing how many Trump supporters will take the time to vote.
“We’ll hold [the Senate], pick up maybe two or three seats,” Bannon said. The House, I can say, it is a complete dogfight. It can go either way. Right now, I think there are 25 seats that are clearly up for grabs. If Trump voters turn out, I actually think we’ll hold the House.”
Bannon is right to discredit polls. After 2016, analyzing polls may be important for gauging public opinion on certain isolated political issues, but for making a prediction on a particular race, they are not entirely accurate. In fact, it is very likely that the polls showing Hillary Clinton’s predicted victory in 2016 drove more voters to support Trump. In that case, the polls didn’t showcase public opinion, they instead drove it. Perhaps the midterm elections will show something similar in nature.