We’re more than a year out from the 2020 election, and already President Donald Trump is reportedly insisting aides tell him things are going just great, despite both internal and public polls that show him trailing in key states he’ll need to take in order to win a second term.
In a New York Times feature published Monday on Trump’s increasingly desperate need to juxtapose himself with former Vice President Joe Biden, the president is described as demanding his aides lie about a number of polls bearing bad news for his re-election chances.
After being briefed on a devastating 17-state poll conducted by his campaign pollster, Tony Fabrizio, Mr. Trump told aides to deny that his internal polling showed him trailing Mr. Biden in many of the states he needs to win, even though he is also trailing in public polls from key states like Texas, Michigan and Pennsylvania. And when top-line details of the polling leaked, including numbers showing the president lagging in a cluster of critical Rust Belt states, Mr. Trump instructed aides to say publicly that other data showed him doing well.
As the Times later notes: “When it came to the campaign [in Florida], his main focus was on his own approval numbers.”
On one hand, the president is a chronic liar and a shameless narcissist, and with months to go before anyone actually casts a vote, polling on a hypothetical head-to-head matchup is a difficult exercise at best. Still, the fact that it’s only June and Trump is already in full-blown bunker mode means we’re in for a long election season—particularly with the thick Democratic field of challengers. And I’m already so very tired.