Trump campaign aide: ‘Junk’ polls are ‘skewed to the left’
A spokesman for President Trump’s reelection campaign clashed with a Fox Business anchor over the polls on Wednesday, arguing that public opinion surveys are “skewed to the left” and do not fully account for the president’s support ahead of the November election.
“A lot of those polls are junk,” said Hogan Gidley, the campaign’s press secretary, on Fox Business’s ‘Mornings with Maria’.
Fox Business anchor Dagen McDowell called that a “cop-out.”
“It’s not a cop-out where the numbers bear out the fact that 10 percent more Democrats are surveyed in these polls than there were in 2016,” Gidley responded. “That’s just sheer mathematics. I can’t change that. So they are skewed to the left for sure.”
The Trump campaign in recent days has ramped up its efforts to question the polls as surveys find presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden leading nationally and in the battleground states with less than 100 days to go before the election.
Biden leads by 8.8 points nationally, according to the RealClearPolitics average, down from a 10.2-point advantage in early June.
On a conference call with reporters last week, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said the campaign does not look at national polls at all.
Democrat Hillary Clinton won the national popular vote in 2016, but Trump won the Electoral College. Analysts say that Trump can be trailing by about 4 points nationally on Election Day and still be able to pull out an Electoral College victory this year.
But Biden has also opened up leads in the key battlegrounds that will determine who wins the Electoral College. Biden leads by 5 points or more in Michigan, Florida, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. He leads by 3 points in both Arizona and North Carolina.
The Trump campaign has argued that the party sampling of most surveys does not match 2016 exit polls, which found that the electorate was 36 percent Democratic, 33 percent Republican and 31 percent independent.
They pointed to several recent surveys where the Republican sampling was only at 24 percent.
Stepien also argued that the polls do not account for voter registration trends in the battleground states that they say have favored Republicans since 2016.
The Trump campaign has repeatedly pointed back to polls from the 2016 race, when few if any battleground surveys found Trump leading and analysts did not give him much of a shot.
Trump won nearly every battleground state in 2016 and narrowly edged Clinton in three states few people thought were in play: Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
McDowell on Wednesday said that the polls “clearly matter” to Trump and argued that the president had begun to take the coronavirus more seriously because public opinion polls had moved against him.
In recent days, Trump has for the first time begun promoting mask-wearing as a means of limiting the spread of the virus. He canceled the GOP convention in Florida after moving it there because North Carolina officials would not allow him to hold a full-scale event.
“I would disagree that he changed his tone,” Gidley said. “He’s been talking about the safety and security of the American people from day one. We’re the ones who mentioned the coronavirus in the — the state of the Union at the first of the year. It was Joe Biden who said go out and party, everything’s fine and called us xenophobic for shutting down travel into this country to protect and save lives.”
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