There is one thing that can be reliably assumed about Donald Trump at any given moment in time. He is probably whining. That’s pretty much his resting state of mind. He is without a doubt the most cowardly crybaby ever to occupy the White House. He even admitted it on national TV in 2016, saying that “I am the most fabulous whiner. I do whine, because I want to win. I am a whiner and I keep whining and whining until I win.” Duh!
So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that Trump is wailing about a new poll by Fox News that shows him losing to every top Democratic in the race. The poll has Biden beating Trump 49% to 41%. Sanders 49-42. Bloomberg 48-40. Warren 46-43. Buttigieg 45-42. And Klobuchar 44-43. Notice that Trump never scores higher than 43% in any of these match-ups. So an obviously rattled Trump pounded out this frantic tweet:
Worst Polls, just like in 2016 when they were so far off the mark, are the @FoxNews Polls. Why doesn’t Fox finally get a competent Polling Company?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 28, 2020
For the record, most of the 2016 polls, even those by Fox News, were pretty accurate. They showed Hillary Clinton beating Trump by about 3%, which is precisely what happened. Remember, these are polls of voters, not the electoral college, and Clinton won the popular vote by 3,000,000 votes. FiveThirtyEight rates Fox News pollsters (Beacon Research/Shaw & Co. Research) a respectable “A-“.
But none of that matters because Trump’s complaints aren’t rooted in reality to begin with. He has often criticized Fox News polling in the past when they delivered bad news. And he routinely complains that Fox has “always been terrible to me.” But he’s ignoring all the times he praised Fox for surveys that had more positive results.
Trump’s perspective is always colored by whatever he views is in his best interest at the moment. It’s a bizarre psychosis that springs from his malignant narcissism. If someone compliments him, they are a rock solid ally. If someone criticizes him, they have always been a bitter enemy. He simply has no grasp of the nuances of fluid, human interactions. And he will use whatever data he finds most beneficial, even if he has to make it up. For instance, Trump also tweeted this Friday morning:
52% in the new Rasmussen Poll. 95% Approval Rating in the Republican Party. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 26, 2020
The problem with that is that it was a retweet that is several days old and does not reflect a “new” Rasmussen poll. In fact, the most recent Rasmussen poll has Trump at only 47%. What’s more, he has never had 95% GOP approval, no matter how many times he tweets it.
Despite Trump’s disappointment with Fox News, he just scheduled a town hall on the network for next Thursday. It will be one of the rare occasions where Trump will be interviewed on Fox by someone other than Sean Hannity or one of the other devoted Trump-fluffers. Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum will host the affair. However, their previous interviews with Trump were dominated by softball questions and no substantive follow ups.
What’s peculiar is why Fox News is having this town hall at all. Trump is running virtually unopposed, so what’s the point in providing a platform when there isn’t a primary contest in progress? The only plausible reason is that Fox wants to make sure that Trump isn’t overshadowed by the Democrats who are engaged in a heated primary. In other words, it’s free advertising for Trump.
What Fox isn’t doing is offering the same thing to Bill Weld, the Republican former governor of Massachusetts who actually is running against Trump in the GOP primary. Both Fox News and Trump are pretending that Weld doesn’t exist. The party has canceled several primaries so that Trump doesn’t have to face an opposing candidate. And Fox has refused to to even book Weld for an interview.
If Trump is as confidant of his 2020 prospects as he keeps insisting, then why is he suppressing this primary opposition? For the same reason he is whining about the Fox News poll. He is scared. He recognizes the political risk that he faces if the economy falters. And his moaning notwithstanding, he does realize that polls reflect the tenor of public opinion, and that opinion now is decidedly – and appropriately – anti-Trump.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.