New Fox News poll finds Biden with healthy lead, sends Trump into tailspin

Thursday afternoon President Donald Trump loudly said the quiet part a tweet where he attacked Fox News for “doing nothing to help Republicans and I get reelected on November 3”. Hours later, the network gave him something new to get upset about.

Fox’s last poll Trump finds behind suspected Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden with a robust 8 points across the country. It’s enough to put Biden ahead even given the 3-point margin of error, and a big swing from last month when Fox polls were right.

Trump vs. Biden’s eroding position in the poll of 1,207 registered voters from May 17 to 20 is related to a decrease in the approval of his treatment of the coronavirus, which is 43 percent, according to the Fox poll, down 8 percent from compared to March and April. A separate ABC News / Ipsos survey conducted Friday morning finds approval for Trump’s handling of the coronavirus a new low of 39 percent.

As I’ve written, Trump has a long history of outbursts at Fox News for not faking the polls in his favor. (For all the Trump-friendly tilting of the network on TV, the polls are high-quality; FiveThirtyEight gives Fox News polling an A rating.) Although he didn’t address the new Fox poll directly on Thursday night, Trump indirectly hit back on the outdated polls and out-of-context data points in an attempt to portray himself as more popular than he actually is.

Fox’s poll shows Trump’s overall approval drops to 44 percent, down 5 percent from last month. That follows with FiveThirtyEight’s Trump approval aggregator, who currently has Trump’s approval, 10 points underwater (43 percent approval, 53 percent disapproval), a remarkable slide from when it was just 4 points underwater last month.

Trump, however, obscured reality by tweeting a more positive poll from the Hill / HarrisX at least 10 days old, if not older. It’s also worth noting that the Hill / HarrisX has a significant right-wing preference and, unlike Fox, is not highly regarded in the pollster rankings of FiveThirtyEight.

Later on Thursday, Trump tweeted a data point from a poll by a right-wing PAC that showed he led Biden by about 5 points in Pennsylvania.

That’s not great for Biden, who was born in the state and may need the electoral college votes to win the election. But even this poll is mostly bad news for Trump. If he had read the Breitbart article he shared, he would have seen the poll show that Biden has “an 8.8 percent advantage in Michigan and a 9.1 percent advantage in Wisconsin” – both say Trump won in 2016 and is central to his reelection hope.

Trump then posted another tweet bragging about his “96% approval score in the Republican Party. Thank you!But while he likes to praise this specific data point on Twitter, he may just make it up. He never mentions a specific poll that supports the 96 percent figure, and it’s blown up compared to other polls. Fox News, for example, thinks that 84 percent of Republicans support Trump – a little lower than the 88 percent of Democrats who support Biden.

On Friday morning, Trump focused directly on Fox News, complaining in one tweet that the network should “fire their Fake Pollster. Never had a good Fox Poll! and then in another question why it does not suppress its own poll and only publish others that reflect more positively about him.

Trump, of course, is not shy about disclosing that he sees Fox News as resembling an arm of his political operation – he believes it should serve as a propaganda outlet for him, goes into a public downward spiral when someone on the network criticizes even mildly, and does not try to hide that he thinks it should be polls to portray him in the best possible light.

But it’s noteworthy that instead of thinking about why his poll numbers are slipping – the president doesn’t really have a plan beyond wishful thinking to pull the country out of the interlocking public health and economic crises that, for example, were caused by the coronavirus – the president attacks the messenger. He simply refuses to acknowledge the increasingly probable possibility that he will perish as president, which was largely undone by a pandemic he was not prepared for.

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