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Shooting the messenger
June 17, 2019

President Trump's re-election campaign is cutting ties with three of its pollsters, several news organizations reported Sunday, the apparent cause being leaked internal poll numbers that showed Trump losing to former Vice President Joe Biden in 15 of the 17 states polled. Those poll numbers have been trickling out for two months, and ABC News and NBC News obtained the full top-line results over the weekend. "While the campaign tested other Democratic presidential candidates against Trump," NBC News reports, "Biden polled the best of the group."

The numbers do look very bad, but Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale called them "ancient" and outdated, repeating Trump's claim that newer polls show him winning everywhere — at least against "defined" Democrats, meaning the pollsters gave respondents their own political descriptions of the Democrats' policies. Trump, who reportedly ordered aides to bury the terrible numbers, told ABC News "those polls don't exist."

The Trump campaign is retaining Tony Fabrizio — the pollster who conducted the leaked March 15-28 poll, and also calls the leaked numbers misleading — and John McLaughlin, Politico reports, and it is getting rid of Brett Lloyd, Mike Baselice, and Adam Geller.

Lloyd heads up the Polling Company, "a firm started by Kellyanne Conway in 1995," Politico notes. "Conway is now a senior White House adviser to Trump and is no longer formally connected to the company." Geller is founder and CEO of National Research Inc. and Baselice founded Baselice & Associates. "There is widespread speculation within the re-election campaign that Geller and Baselice, who still enjoy the confidence of top Trump aides, will join the pro-Trump super PAC," Politico adds. Peter Weber

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