This may be the closest Republican presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpHillicon Valley — State Dept. employees targets of spyware Ohio Republican Party meeting ends abruptly over anti-DeWine protesters Jan. 6 panel faces new test as first witness pleads the Fifth MORE comes to setting expectations low.
In an interview with the Associated Press published Saturday, the ever-confident Trump said he understands that no non-incumbent in modern history has ever won all of the first three nominating states in a presidential primary.
“I think I could lose a state, sure,” Trump said. "If I came in second or third I think that would be, you know, I wouldn't be happy, 'cause I want to win."
Like any candidate, he said he would like to “clean the table.” If he does lose one of the early states, “I won’t lose badly,” he said.
Trump has defied expectations and remained at the top of national polling since July. He also maintains leads in the early nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
He holds the largest polling lead in New Hampshire, with a 15-point edge over his closest rival Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), according to the Real Clear Politics polling average.
He holds leads of around 6 points in both Iowa and South Carolina.
Many pollsters caution that voters in the early-voting states tend to put off their final decision until close to the election. Iowa's caucuses kick off the election season Feb. 1.
Trump told the AP he has built an aggressive ground operation to ensure that people showing up at his rallies end up voting, but provided no details.