Trump used to love reading poll results at rallies
Now his fortunes have changed
Donald Trump has decided that he doesn’t believe polls anymore.
“Even though we’re doing pretty well in the polls, I don’t believe the polls anymore,” Trump said Tuesday during a rally here.
The comment was a head-spinning reversal for a candidate who has cited polls on the campaign trail more than any other presidential candidate this cycle, and perhaps more than any other presidential candidate in modern political history.
But the reversal comes as a slew of recent polls have shown Trump sinking in the presidential race, trailing his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in nearly every major national and battleground state poll.
Trump’s tumbling stock in the presidential race comes on the heels of a series of damaging revelations, which started with a 2005 audio recording in which he bragged about groping and kissing women without their consent and continued with nearly a dozen women alleging that Trump did those very things to them.
A poll on Tuesday from the University of Houston even showed Clinton within just 3 points of Trump in Texas, a state that has not elected a Democrat to major statewide office in decades.
Trump’s dismissal of polling on Tuesday comes as he has ramped up his rhetoric in the last week in decrying – without evidence – what he deems to be a “rigged system.”
Trump has complained about individual polls throughout his campaign for president and last week declared at a rally that “even the polls are crooked,” but Trump went further Tuesday saying he doesn’t “believe the polls anymore.”
And the polls Trump is decrying now are run by the same news organizations and academic groups as those Trump has frequently cited at his rallies and blasted out to his millions of followers on Twitter since he kicked off his campaign in June 2015.
During the primary, Trump frequently opened his rally by boasting about his lead over his Republican primary rivals by citing one new poll or another. That continued in recent months as some polling showed Trump leading or in a tight race with Clinton.
But by Trump’s own admission earlier month, you don’t talk about the polls when you’re losing.
“When we do badly, I don’t talk about the polls,” he said. “When we’re doing well, I talk about the polls.”