According to a recent report, Donald Trump has admitted to his advisers that he is “losing” and his team has been taking action behind the scenes to course-correct following a string of troubling polls and amid what aides and analysts have described as the roughest period of Trump’s presidency.
“Donald Trump knows he’s losing. The president has privately come to that grim realization in recent days,” Politico reported over the weekend, citing multiple people familiar with his thinking. According to more than a half-dozen people close to the president, Politico reports, his team is taking action to prevent what they fear could be a devastating defeat in November.
The alleged admission follows the president being bludgeoned repeatedly by the media for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, the explosion of protests and riots after the police-involved death of George Floyd, which has prompted yet more critical headlines, polls showing Biden holding an increasingly formidable lead over the incumbent, and Trump’s first campaign rally since the lockdowns in which the crowd was much smaller than anticipated.
The most recent troubling sign, according to Politico’s unnamed sources, was Trump’s interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday in which the president struggled to lay out his second-term goals. In the interview, “the normally self-assured president offered a tacit acknowledgment that he might lose when he said that Joe Biden is ‘gonna be your president because some people don’t love me, maybe,’” Politico notes. The left-leaning outlet’s sources say that following the interview, “questions swirled within his inner circle about whether his heart was truly in it when it comes to seeking reelection.”
While most of the sources spoke on condition of anonymity, former Trump political adviser Sam Nunberg was willing to go on the record with his bleak assessment of the president’s re-election outlook. “Under the current trajectory, President Trump is on the precipice of one of the worst electoral defeats in modern presidential elections and the worst historically for an incumbent president,” Nunberg told Politico.
Multiple polls show Trump below 40% support in a head-to-head with Biden. Should his support consistently drop to 35%, said Nunberg, Trump could be facing “realistically a 400-plus electoral vote loss and the president would need to strongly reconsider whether he wants to continue to run as the Republican presidential nominee.”
Sources say the realization that his re-election is growing increasingly less likely has resulted in multiple changes behind the scenes in an attempt “to correct course.”
Following the Tulsa rally, Trump has reportedly begun “to take a more hands-on role in the campaign and has expressed openness to adding more people to the team.” Sources say Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is expected to be even more involved with his re-election efforts, while Trump’s campaign has begun to focus more on battleground states, polls from which consistently show Biden ahead, at times by wide margins.
Real Clear Politics’ average of the most recent national polls shows Biden leading Trump by an average of 9.2 points (49.5 – 40.3%). The averages show Trump trailing by more than 8 points in Michigan, more than 6 points in Florida, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, by 4 points in Arizona, and by 2.4 points in North Carolina.
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