In 2016, every poll of the presidential race in Michigan, except one, showed Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump. While other polls conducted in November 2016 showed Clinton ahead by about five percentage points, the Trafalgar Group showed Trump leading by two points. On Election Day, Trump won Michigan by 0.3 points, becoming the first Republican presidential candidate to carry the state since 1988.
A similar story played out in Pennsylvania in 2016: Non-partisan public polls showed Clinton leading Trump by two to six points in the run-up to the election. Trafalgar showed Trump ahead by one point (the only poll showing Trump ahead), and he carried Pennsylvania by 0.7 points on Election Day.
In 2020, Trafalgar is again out of step with the herd. In August, Trafalgar released polls showing Trump within a half-percentage point of Biden in Minnesota and ahead by about one point in Wisconsin and Michigan. When the Michigan poll was released over the weekend, Trafalgar’s president Robert Cahaly boasted on Twitter with some cause: “Doubt what we @trafalgar_group say about #MI #Elections2020 at your own peril. History is not on your side.”