Underneath the Polls, America Quietly Decides

If you don’t see a lot of bumper stickers for Donald Trump in your area, it’s not because he has less support, a new poll explains. At least 59 percent of the president’s supporters told the University of New Hampshire that they don’t advertise their choice for fear their cars would be vandalized. Only 16 percent of Biden fans said the same. Even fewer — 14 percent — worried about their houses with yard signs, while 52 percent of Trump supporters thought their property would be damaged if they tried. Is this part of the “silent majority” people are talking about? George Barna thinks so.

The intimidation factor is real, and it’s showing up in everything from the overblown “undecided” numbers to the lopsided leads for Joe Biden. “I say this as a guy who’s been doing polling for more than 40 years and has worked in various presidential campaigns,” Barna said on “Washington Watch,” and “I think that this time around, there’s a lot of funny business going on with the polling. I think that there’s probably somewhere between at least a four to eight percentage point ‘hidden Trump vote,’ if you will, for a variety of reasons…”

In that same Granite State survey, Trump supporters were also half as likely to talk to their friends and coworkers about who they were voting for than their Biden counterparts. And if they won’t tell a colleague, there’s no reason to believe they’d tell a pollster. Trafalger, the only firm who accurately predicted 2016, insists the same phenomenon is playing out four years later. Trump supporters, who’ve been targeted, harassed, publicly shamed, and marginalized don’t want to be judged. But it would be a mistake, Barna agrees, to mistake their silence for a lack of enthusiasm.

As a matter of fact, SAGE Cons (the Spiritually-Active, Governance-Engaged Conservatives) are about as involved as they can get. These are the people who understand that they have a biblical responsibility to bring their worldview to bear on every part of their life — including politics. They make up about 10 percent of the population, but they have an enormous impact on the outcome of the election. And that’s not going to change any time soon, based on what George is seeing. “We’re looking at above 90-percent turnout [for this group],” he says. Higher than it’s ever been. “In the last election,” he points out, SAGE Cons were troubled by both candidates. Didn’t trust either one of them really but knew that they had to make a choice. So they turned out and they made the best choice they could based on what they knew about them this election…”

Now, four years into the most pro-life, pro-family administration we’ve ever seen, they’re much more comfortable with Donald Trump. I saw that enthusiasm firsthand this morning, when I went to early vote. In a predominately conservative area, I talked to a lot of the folks in line as I waited an hour to cast my ballot. Our movement is motivated, and if we could find a way to multiply that impact with the almost SAGE Cons (adults who meet about three-quarters of Barna’s qualifications), “we’re talking about almost 20 percent of the population” voting on biblical values.

Look at it this way, George says. Consider how much “energy and effort and resources is devoted by campaigns and parties [to populations] like the gay constituency, [which is] three, maybe four, percent of the population — [or the] African-American constituency, 12 percent of the population. This is a group that’s bigger those…” And, more importantly, it’s one of the most reliable voting blocs there is. Why? Because they’re not driven by their emotions or the political winds. They’re driven by fixed biblical principles based on truth. So their outlook doesn’t change — and their voting behavior rarely does either.

When they step into the ballot booth, they care about these three things most of all: abortion, religious freedom, and federal court appointments and nominations. President Trump, as we know from his long list of accomplishments, checks all of those boxes. So if there’s one way you and I can bring along the almost SAGE Cons, it’s by reminding them what this administration has done.

“There are probably one out of every seven or eight voters in this country who don’t know as much about [President Trump’s record]. So while they may like many things about him, while they share that conservative perspective about what ought to be done with the government, they’re not nearly as well-informed… And that seems to be what’s holding them back from being more excited about voting in this election and voting for Mr. Trump.”

Of course, the media hasn’t done America any favors — going out of its way to ignore the promises Trump keeps. Most voters haven’t turned on the television in the last four years and heard about the groundbreaking ways this president has protected the unborn or gone to bat on religious freedom. That’s why it’s so critically important that we share this information with our friends, our family, and anyone else who may not be where we are in terms of engagement. And PrayVoteStand.org has a pile of resources to help you do that! We have the Trump Accomplishments, broken down by lifefamily and religious liberty, and international religious liberty. Our teams have even translated those resources into Spanish, so that we can reach even more people.

At the end of the day, actions speak louder than words — even Tweets. And in an election as important as this one, that — not personality — is what matters.

Tony Perkins’s Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.


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EDITORS NOTE: This FRC-Action column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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