Donald Trump responded to a recent report about internal campaign polling showing him in big trouble by claiming that the story was fake and the poll never existed.
That poll has now leaked, and it’s just as bad for Trump as advertised.
This internal campaign poll was first reported on by the New York Times earlier this week, showing Trump in trouble in key states and leading the president to dismiss it as fake. The report noted that the polling showed Trump far behind Joe Biden in many states that Trump won in 2016 and would need for re-election in next year’s election.
Donald Trump seemed particularly upset at the reporting and lashed out this week to reporters, saying that his internal polling instead showed him winning.
“They were fake polls that were released by somebody that is — it’s ridiculous,” Trump told reporters on Wednesday, via Think Progress. “No, we are winning in every single state that we’ve polled.”
Trump went on to call them “phone polls” that “nobody saw.” He insisted that the little internal polling already done was “unbelievably strong” in his favor.
“The strongest I’ve ever been is exactly today,” he said.
But the internal polling Trump claimed did not exist was released on Friday, showing the opposite of what Trump claimed. ABC News published the polls, finding that Joe Biden was ahead of Trump by a full 16 points in Pennsylvania and 10 points in Wisconsin, both states that Trump turned red for the first time in many years. Biden was also ahead of Trump in the key state of Florida and just two points behind him in normally deep-red Texas.
When the actual numbers from the polling leaked, the Trump campaign shifted from outright denial to justification. Brad Parscale, Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, said the polling came from “months-old polling” in March, before the release of the Russia report. Parscale claimed that since then there had been large shifts toward Trump in these states, but he offered no evidence to back up the claim.
The polling from within Trump’s own campaign appeared to be consistent with other recent public polling that found Trump struggling in some of the key swing states and even some Republican strongholds. A Quinnipiac University poll released earlier this month also showed Trump trailing in Texas, where Joe Biden was four points ahead of Trump and the president led other top Democrats by only small margins.
ABC News says that it has the data from Trump's first internal reelection campaign poll. It found:
Biden leading Trump by 16 in Pennsylvania
Biden leading Trump by 10 in Wisconsin
Biden leading Trump by 7 in Florida
Trump leading Biden by 2 in Texashttps://t.co/Ked9afCY8r
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 14, 2019
Losing Texas would all but ensure a loss for Donald Trump and likely put him underwater in other Republican-leaning states like Arizona and Georgia.