Trump’s Own Polling Data Shows He’s in Deep Trouble. Here’s How He Reportedly Tried to Bury It.

That’s one way to deal with “devastating” numbers.

Ron Sachs/ZUMA

President Donald Trump has long relied on parroting Fox News and cherry-picked, often misleading data in order to portray confidence ahead of the 2020 election. The president has also, without evidence, repeatedly claimed that if it had not been for the special counsel’s Russia investigation, his favorability ratings would be much higher.

But Trump’s fraught relationship with the truth about his popularity has now reportedly moved onto bizarre efforts to bury the results of his own campaign’s polling data. 

According to the New York Times, Trump was recently presented with the results of a 17-state internal poll that showed Biden leading in several key states. Afterward, the president reportedly ordered his staff to publicly deny that such data existed. When the internal numbers eventually leaked, the Times says he went one step further, ordering his staff to push friendlier data that ignored the “devastating” results presented by his own pollster. 

Campaign officials have since denied that they were told to lie about the data, which mirrors other recent polls showing Trump trailing Biden.

The alleged scrambled attempt to conceal his own polling data comes as Trump and Biden are both set to appear in Iowa on Tuesday, the first time the two men will campaign in the same state on the same day this election season. Biden is expected to label Trump as an “existential threat” to the country.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.