Political pundits predicting the demise of the Donald Trump candidacy for the better part of 2015, but a new study conducted by the public opinion polling firm, Morning Consult, may have surprising news for the political analysts, as it found support for the outspoken billionaire political novice may be even greater than previous polls suggest.

The polling firm, Morning Consult, concluded that more respondents support the frontrunner than may be publicly admitting it.

The poll surveyed 2,400 respondents using three different methods of contact: online, telephone with live interviewer, and telephone with automated response options.

While 38 percent of all those surveyed supported Trump, Morning Consult found that the results within the study varied widely depending on the method of contact.

Just 32 percent of those who were contacted by a live interviewer admitted to supporting Trump compared to 36 percent of those completing the survey via automated recording.

The polling firm concluded that respondents were more open in their support of the sometimes-controversial Trump when they were not speaking with another person.

“In other words, people are reluctant to select Trump when talking to another person because they do not believe it will be viewed as a socially acceptable decision,” the study concludes.

The authors of the study analyzed the results against those for Senator Ted Cruz and Dr. Ben Carson using the same methodology, and found that there was not a discrepancy based on whether the respondent answered online, using an automated response system or spoke to a live interviewer.

“That six point difference was not seen with other candidates between the different polling methods. Trump is not the pick of the political pundits, and people intuitively get that. Basically, people identify with the things Trump says, but they don’t want to admit it because they don’t think their friends will like it.”

Professional pollsters call this the “desirability factor,” which may point to surprising results when Iowans meet in precinct caucuses on February 1 and New Hampshire voters finally have their say in the early March primary.

 

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