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Facing dismaying new poll numbers, Donald Trump said he believes he will outperform the surveys because voters aren't willing to tell pollsters their true intentions.
Call it the reverse Bradley effect.
Trump didn’t mention former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley by name, but referred to “one person in California” who lost an election despite polls that had favored him to win.
“It’s a certain effect,” Trump said. “I have fortunately the opposite effect.”
“I do much better,” he said.
Trump’s comments, at a rally late Thursday in Dallas, came as he marked the one-year anniversary of his entry into the GOP race and his improbable rise since.
Bradley's loss in the 1982 election for governor is often cited as an example of how "social desirability" of certain answers to a poll can skew results. Bradley, who was black, lost to a white candidate, and the result may have stemmed from poll respondents who did not want to admit they planned to vote against a black candidate.
The Times wrote about evidence of a so-called reverse Bradley effect involving Trump earlier in the campaign season.
Polling now shows 70% of Americans — and as many registered voters — have negative views of Trump. Democrat Hillary Clinton is also deeply unpopular, but not as much. Clinton leads Trump in a raft of new polls, including some of key battleground states.
Trump recounted his unlikely primary state victories to the overflow crowd at Gilley's as evidence that he does better at the ballot box than the political experts expect.
In fact, however, while there was some evidence of that early on, polls later in the campaign were fairly accurate in predicting Trump's vote.
In a state with a large Latino population, Trump pivoted away from immigration and national security issues that had dominated the week. Instead, he focused on economic populist themes that have proved especially popular with white, working class voters.
He also said he wanted to ride the venue's famous mechanical bull — though he called it a horse.