Data from President Donald Trump's first internal reelection campaign poll conducted in March, obtained exclusively by ABC News, showed him losing a matchup by wide margins to former Vice President Joe Biden in key battleground states.
Trump has repeatedly denied that such data exists.
The polling data, revealed for the first time by ABC News, showed a double-digit lead for Biden in Pennsylvania 55-39 and Wisconsin 51-41 and had Biden leading by seven points in Florida. In Texas, a Republican stronghold, the numbers showed the president only leading by two points.
ABC News did not obtain the poll’s early matchups against other candidates.
The New York Times was first to report the existence of the internal polls.
When presented by ABC News with these numbers, the Trump campaign confirmed the data saying in a statement that the numbers were old and that they have seen huge swings in Trump’s favor.
“These leaked numbers are ancient, in campaign terms, from months-old polling that began in March before two major events had occurred: the release of the summary of the Mueller report exonerating the President, and the beginning of the Democrat candidates defining themselves with their far-left policy message,” Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale told ABC News in a statement. “Since then, we have seen huge swings in the President’s favor across the 17 states we have polled, based on the policies now espoused by the Democrats. For example, the plan to provide free health care to illegal immigrants results in an 18-point swing toward President Trump.”
Attorney General Bill Barr’s summary of special counsel Robert Mueller investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election was released on March 24. While the Trump campaign’s full poll, which canvassed 17 states, was already in the field, it was well underway for four additional days after the release of Barr’s letter to the public.
The poll was conducted from March 15 through March 28.
The Trump campaign did not provide the results of the full 17 state poll, matchups against other candidates nor any updated polling figures.
Mueller's report did not find a conspiracy between Trump's campaign and the Russian government. The special counsel did not reach a conclusion about whether the president obstructed justice, and specifically did not exonerate him on that front.
Earlier in the week, the Trump campaign referenced “new data” that they claimed showed the president has a “lead in every state” they polled, according to a statement provided to ABC News by Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh.
The campaign is claiming the new poll “tested the issues the Democrat field is running on” and produced a more favorable result for the president in head to head match-ups against 2020 Democrats when tied to issues like providing free healthcare to illegal immigrants.
Early polls are often subject to change, but it’s notable that the new poll the campaign is now touting tested “issues” tied to 2020 opponents — meaning the Democratic candidates were politically defined by the campaign.
“The President is correct that we have no current polls against defined Democrats – at all – that show him losing in any of the states we have tested. For example, the President leads in Florida by 8 points. He holds leads in all other states we have polled,” Parscale’s statement said. “Again, these months-old numbers are meaningless because they are pre-Mueller and pre-Democrat messaging, and should not be given any weight when discussing the current state of the race.”
In the recent days the president has continued to lash out against reports that his campaign’s internal polling showed him trailing in key battleground states, slamming the numbers as “phony polling information.” Trump has called his internal poll numbers “unbelievable” and that he was “the strongest I’ve ever been.”
Speaking with ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday during an exclusive interview, the president said his internal polling showed that he is “winning everywhere."
When Stephanopoulos mentioned reports of polls commissioned by the Trump campaign that showed Biden ahead of him in key states, the president said “those polls don't exist.”
"Nobody showed you those polls because those polls don't exist, George. Those polls don't exist. I'm losing in 15 out of 17 states? Those polls don't exist," Trump said.
"I just was given a meeting with my pollster who I frankly don't even believe in pollsters if you want to know the truth, you just run a campaign and whatever it is, it is, but I just had a meeting with somebody that's a pollster and I'm winning everywhere, so I don't know what you're talking about."
A day later, the president took to Twitter and again claimed internal polling showing him behind in battleground states didn’t exist.
“The Fake (Corrupt) News Media said they had a leak into polling done by my campaign which, by the way, and despite the phony and never-ending Witch Hunt, are the best numbers WE have ever had. They reported Fake numbers that they made up & don’t even exist,” the president tweeted.