It is amusing to listen to Trump talk about polls and watch him tweet about how poll after poll puts him in the lead, yet on Meet the Press, asked point-blank, “Do you acknowledge that you’re behind?” Kellyanne Conway answered, “We are behind.”
Is he? Or isn’t he? Based on actual polling numbers, he is behind. In Trump’s own mind, it’s anyone’s guess. Anderson Cooper, seeking to get answers, tasked RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer to answer:
ANDERSON COOPER: So Sean, you’ve seen the results of the new CNN poll. Trump trails by five points. He said today at a rally that he’s actually winning, do you believe he’s winning?
SEAN SPICER: Yeah, I think when you look at the battleground states, whether it’s Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Nevada, I think where it matters, yeah, we’re winning. And I think we have a path to 270 that’s going to make him — put him in the White House, come November 8th. Again — and I think the other thing, Anderson, is you look at states where we can start to see some evidence of that, right? So, Florida we’re up over the Democrats in the early votes, not just the absentee ballots requested, but then returned. Same thing in Iowa, and in places — excuse me, like Iowa and North Carolina — in Iowa, excuse me, in places like Iowa and Ohio where traditionally we don’t do as well as early votes, you see actually a consolidation of where we’ve been in the past, to — it’s a much closer race for us. We do so well there on election day.
Yet just yesterday, we saw that Nevada has tipped toward Clinton. In fact, in early voting, Clinton is off to a better start than even Obama in 2012. Early voting data also shows Clinton surging in Florida, and an October 20 Suffolk poll shows Clinton and Trump tied in Ohio.
Maybe at this point, for the Trump campaign and the RNC, a tie is a win.
Earlier in the month, the Trump campaign took the monumental step of canceling ads in both Florida and Ohio, not because it didn’t need them but because it either couldn’t afford them or as an acknowledgment of defeat.
Reality has never matched up well with rhetoric in the Trump campaign. Cooper pointed to Real Clear Politics, the “poll of polls,” which shows Clinton in the lead. We also find that the most current data on Nevada, a state whose name Trump can’t even pronounce, you see:
Cooper told Spicer,
“Even if Trump wins all the states that CNN currently has as tossups, he still comes up short of 270. So I mean, you’re looking just — you say you’re looking at early polling –“
Spicer’s nonsensical answer, based on polling data and the canceled ads, was that,
“No, if you take — If you take — right, but — no, if you take Florida, Ohio, Nevada, Iowa, North Carolina, and then add in New Hampshire and Maine, too, which is both areas that I think we’re doing very well in, that gets us over the 270 mark.”
Sure, if you do that, but why would you do that? Why count states you’re losing and/or canceled ads in? Spicer tried to claim that an ABC News poll showing a 12-point Clinton lead is phony, but Cooper was having none of that, pointed out that it is Trump’s online polls that are phony.
Observe how Spicer goes down flailing helplessly under Cooper’s barrage of facts:
COOPER: Phony polls are the online polls that Donald Trump always seems to be referencing. Even the Rasmussen poll, you know, isn’t something we would use.
SPICER: Okay, well again — but you get to make that decision. I think when you look at the Rasmussen poll and IBD poll, one of — the IBD poll was the most accurate poll going back a couple cycles. So, I get you may not like it, but it’s actually been one of the most accurate polls going forward. Secondly, it’s — if a poll —
COOPER: The reason — just for clarification, the reason we don’t use it because they don’t reveal all their methodology —
SPICER: I understand that, but that doesn’t —
COOPER: — and the Rasmussen poll uses a combination of online polling and television — telephone polling.
SPICER: Right. I understand that, but I’m not saying that you have to accept it, but it doesn’t make it phony.
The Trump campaign, its surrogates, Fox News, and the RNC, have nothing, certainly not even a passing relationship with the facts. This is just embarrassing, for a spokesperson for the RNC to go on air and flub every factual statement placed before him.
Sean Spicer is actually claiming that Rasmussen, which incorporates notoriously unreliable online polling, is somehow reliable. Once you have included online polling, you have thrown science out the window.
Trump is losing, and efforts to deny or explain that fact has gone to increasingly bizarre lengths in Republican circles, where they are now reduced to claiming nonscientific polls are accurate, and scientific polls are not – and that losing is somehow winning.
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