Some Republican operatives are concerned that President Donald Trump could drop out of the race ahead of the presidential elections in November if his poll numbers continue to remain low.
"It’s too early, but if the polls continue to worsen, you can see a scenario where he drops out," said one Republican operative to Fox News.
"I’ve heard the talk but I doubt it’s true,” said another. “My bet is, he drops if he believes there’s no way to win.”
A recent poll by Fox News had Trump behind Democratic candidate Joe Biden by 12 points. Poll numbers for the president have dropped amid criticism of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the protests and riots in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis policeman.
In the 2016 presidential elections, Trump trailed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in most polls up until the election itself. While Clinton did win almost three million more votes in the popular vote, she lost in the electoral college, according to Time Magazine.
The Trump campaign denied that the president would drop out of the race and spoke out against the polls and the methodology used to conduct them.
“This is the granddaddy of fake news,” Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh told Fox. “Everyone knows that media polling has always been wrong about President Trump - they undersample Republicans and don’t screen for likely voters - in order to set false narratives. It won’t work. There was similar fretting in 2016 and if it had been accurate, Hillary Clinton would be in the White House right now."An additional statement from the Trump campaign read, “as was the case in 2016, the mainstream news media is relying on polling financed by their own operations and others, released publicly in order to set a narrative that conforms with their own worldviews."It continued: “The president’s campaign has repeatedly called into question the validity of such polling, based on methodology, party representation in the sample, wording of questions, and other factors.”
Fox News host Tucker Carlson stated that “not many people are saying it out loud on the Right, but the fact is that President Trump could well lose this election. In fact, unless fundamental facts change soon, it could be tough for him to be re-elected.”