Trump says all poll numbers are fake — unless they're favorable, in which case they're real.
Speaking at a rally in Florida on Tuesday night, Trump told the crowd that "polls are fake" — just seconds before bragging about his own poll numbers and falsely claiming that he's the most popular Republican president since Abraham Lincoln.
Trump made the remarks during a speech at a campaign-style rally for Rep. Ron DeSantis, a right-wing Republican running for governor of Florida.
As usual, Trump used much of the speech to air his grievances and rail against the press ("fake news"). At one point, he accused the media of engaging in a cover-up to suppress favorable polling data, saying they only report on the bad numbers.
"Polls are fake, just like everything else," Trump declared, repeating a talking point that he has peddled at previous campaign rallies.
He then proceeded to brag about anonymous polling that he claimed indicates he's the most popular person in the Republican party since Abraham Lincoln was president over 150 years ago.
"They just came out with a poll," he told the crowd. "The most popular person in the history of the Republican Party is Trump! Can you believe that?"
"So I said, does that include Honest Abe Lincoln? He was pretty good, huh?" he said.
Trump never specified which poll he was referring to, likely because it doesn't exist. While he does have support among his base of Republican voters, he's still the most unpopular president — Democratic or Republican — in modern history.
According to FiveThirtyEight’s presidential approval tracker, every president going back 60 years — Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, John Kennedy, and Dwight Eisenhower — had higher approval ratings at this point in their presidencies than Trump.
Perhaps that explains why Trump wants people to believe that polls are fake — and why he has previously suggested that polls should be illegal.
But while it may make Trump feel better to pretend that numbers aren't real, he may find that it's not quite as easy to deny reality when it comes in the form of votes this November.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.