That’s One Way to Deal with Bad Poll Numbers…

Just fire the pollster.

Last week, some internal polling from the Trump re-election campaign was leaked. The numbers showed Trump behind in several key states, and even potentially in trouble in Texas. The campaign has now done the only logical thing: it has fired that polling company.

Via NBC News: Trump campaign cutting ties with pollsters after internal numbers leaked.

President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is cutting ties with some of its own pollsters after leaked internal polling showed the president trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in critical 2020 battleground states, according to a person close to the campaign.

The move comes after NBC News obtained new details from a March internal poll that found Trump trailing Biden in 11 key states.

Portions of the campaign’s expansive March polling trickled out in recent days in other news reports.

But a person familiar with the inner workings of the Trump campaign shared more details of the data with NBC News, showing the president trailing across swing states seen as essential to his path to re-election and in Democratic-leaning states where Republicans have looked to gain traction. The polls also show Trump underperforming in reliably red states that haven’t been competitive for decades in presidential elections.

A separate person close to the Trump re-election team told NBC News Saturday that the campaign will be cutting ties with some of its pollsters in response to the information leaks, although the person did not elaborate as to which pollsters would be let go.

Not only are they letting some pollsters go, Trump himself claimed that the leaked numbers were, of course, “fake.”

So, fake, but apparently a leak, and worth firing over.

But, of course, denial of basic facts and preferring being told what he wants to hear, rather than what is true, is on brand for Trump.

FILED UNDER: 2020 Election, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics, , , , , , , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Gustopher says:

    If he has reason to believe the leak came from the pollsters, not his team, then firing them makes sense. For leaking, not for coming up with results he doesn’t like.

    I assume the leak is coming from his campaign though, since Team Trump seems to leak everything.

  2. PJ says:

    Putin has the answer!

    One week ago, the Kremlin was jolted by a new opinion poll that showed trust in President Vladimir Putin had fallen to the lowest level in nearly 20 years as Russia’s preeminent political figure.

    On May 31, however, one day after a Kremlin spokesman publicly questioned the results, a new survey was released by the same state-funded pollster that did the earlier one. It showed, instead, public trust in Putin at a markedly higher level.

    The reason, it seems, is the pollster’s decision to change how its questions are worded. And that’s got Russians suspecting political meddling.

    Now the question is, will Trump use the same Russian pollsters as Putin or will he just set up his own propaganda ministry with a polling branch?

  3. Kathy says:

    This is good. If El Cheeto goes into the election using bad, made up numbers, he’s far more likely to screw it up.

  4. @Gustopher: This is possible, although given the nature of leaks, not necessarily the case.

    I think it will be excuse, however.

    But still: if the numbers were “fake” then the leak was not a leak…

  5. @Kathy: I look forward to them relying solely on Rasmussen’s public polling.

  6. Gustopher says:

    Remember the Romney campaign, and how they were sure the public polls were wrong and he was winning? There was a whole cottage industry of unskewing polls.

    That was great.

  7. Andrew says:

    Hey, President Trump,
    Baghdad Bob is still alive. He seems more your speed. And trust me he is the best.

  8. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Is it possible for this ass hat to keep it together long enough to win again???

  9. grumpy realist says:

    The trouble isn’t that Trump has so little connection to reality; it’s that the Republican Party is all too eager to back up his falsehoods for the sake of maintaining power.

    Is there anything that Trump could do that would cause them to say “No, I’m not going to support this. This is un-American. This is not allowable under law, and I will vote to impeach the President”?

    I really really doubt it. A political party, rotted out from the inside by its lack of integrity and lust for power. Much like the Tories in the U.K.

  10. SenyorDave says:

    @grumpy realist: Is there anything that Trump could do that would cause them to say “No, I’m not going to support this. This is un-American. This is not allowable under law, and I will vote to impeach the President”?

    Trump shot someone of Fifth Ave the other day in broad daylight. When he told Stephenapolous that he would use foreign dirt in an election and the worst we heard form the GOP was tut tut, he shouldn’t say that, the Republicans showed us where they stand – they’ll tolerate anything for power.

    The leadership is worse than Trump, they understand what they are doing.

  11. DrDaveT says:

    I am much more worried about Trump’s ability to say “they’re lying”, and be believed by his 47%, than I am by any specific policy or initiative.

  12. Teve says:

    @DrDaveT: If I had easy access to the comment database here it would be fun to write a simple script to chart the number of Trump Chump comments per time from like Jan 2017 to present.

    they’re still with him, but it’s obvious their hearts aren’t in it like it used to be.

  13. DrDaveT says:


    they’re still with him, but it’s obvious their hearts aren’t in it like it used to be.

    I couldn’t care less about the sycophants who try to promote Trump’s agenda in these comment pages. I care about the tens of millions of dupes/bigots/tools who are going to vote for him in the next election, and who are unreachable by appeal to fact or national interest or basic decency. The GOP politicians are traitors and scoundrels, but their strategy would not work if it weren’t for the idiot 47%.

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @DrDaveT: I’m pretty sure a fair number of that 47% know he’s lying but think it’s justifiable for the greater cause. I suspect the number who actually do believe him is right around the 27% crazification factor.