According to a report from the Daily Beast, aides to Donald Trump are doing their best to keep him in the dark about his terrible poll numbers prior to November's election out of fear of his wrath.
With the president's poll numbers plummeting in a match-up with presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, White House staffers and campaign officials are trying to keep the president calm while at the same time working to turn around a re-election campaign that is floundering.
Case in point, criticism of a recent poll that showed the president headed to defeat that had the campaign asking for a retraction.
"In a cease-and-desist letter dated June 9, 2020, the president’s re-election staff demanded that CNN retract and apologize for a recently released poll that had presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden leading Trump by 14 points," The Beast reports, while also noting that the demand was widely ridiculed -- and rightly so with one senior administration official calling it the “dumbest thing I’ve read in a long time.”
"In one respect, it was just the latest effort by the president’s aides to attempt to satisfy the boss’ appetite for retribution. But it also revealed an element of the Trump political operation that has increasingly demanded time, money, and attention—mainly, the task of convincing Trump that the electoral landscape and polling deficits he faces aren’t as dire as he’s been hearing," the Beast's report states.
According to one White House official who has been part of meeting with the president about his re-election prospects, "This helps keep the president from flying into a rage as much as he otherwise would."
The report notes that aides are assuring the president that there is a lack of "enthusiasm" for his opponent and that the polling could be wrong.
"A chunk of the re-election team focuses on proving to the president that his 'dumpster-fire numbers' aren’t as bad as they seem, or reinforcing Trump’s conviction that pollsters get it wrong 'all the time,'" the Beast reports, adding that " ...several key advisers making personal entreaties to Trump in the past few weeks to try to convince him that he should not brush off the numbers, even unpleasant ones that comes from news organizations such as CNN."
The report notes that two officials think the president, when confronted with the poor numbers, isn't taking them seriously -- and that may be because officials are softening the blow when speaking with the president.
According to noted pollster Frank Luntz, Trump may be a victim of "... pollsters who are bought and paid for, and they will tell you [the client] what you want to hear.”
“I don’t envy those who have to tell Donald Trump what he doesn’t want to hear,” Luntz continued. “I’ve met him several times, I’ve met Biden several times. I would rather present bad [polling] information to Biden than Donald Trump. Presenting bad information or tough information to Joe Biden, you’ll break his heart, if you present tough information to Donald Trump, he breaks your arm.”
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