Rand Paul: "You know, I think sometimes polling is done to dampen election turnout..."
"The polls are put out, you know to make it either look closer than it is or to make it look like Democrats have a better chance," Paul said.
Republican Sen. Rand Paul said on Wednesday that polls showing Hillary Clinton with a lead over Donald Trump are “designed to suppress turnout.”
The Kentucky senator, who is ahead in surveys for his own re-election bid, was asked on, “The Tom Roten Morning Show,” an 800 WVHU West Virginia radio program, about Clinton’s national polling lead when he made the comment.
“You know, I think sometimes polling is done to dampen election turnout so when Trump says the thing’s rigged, I’m not sure exactly what he means and I’m not sure I always agree with him,” Paul said. “But I do think that when we say over and over someone can’t win that is a form of rigging in the sense that it is designed to suppress turnout.”
Though there is no evidence to support his argument, Trump has repeatedly said that the election is “rigged” in Clinton’s favor, saying that he means this both in the sense of electoral fraud and media bias. While there is also no evidence of pollsters intentionally skewing results to benefit one party or candidate over another, Paul, a rival of Trump’s during the Republican primary who has since endorsed him,contended that Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s unexpected victory in the gubernatorial race last year was an example of this phenomenon.
“In Kentucky, in our governor’s race in 2015, the media said over and over and over again the Democrats were up 8 points,” Paul said. “The hope I think was to depress Republican turnout and these were coming from liberal newspapers in our state. And turns out the Republicans won by 8. They were off like by 16 — 14, 16 points. And but I think some of that is intentional. The polls are put out, you know to make it either look closer than it is or to make it look like Democrats have a better chance. And I think it’s done by design to try to dampen turnout.”
Paul added that he thought that Trump would win Kentucky and West Virginia. Though are considered solidly red, voters there should not be discouraged by his deficit in the polls nationally and in swing states.