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‘That’s What We Saw In 2016’: Senate GOP Discounts Presidential Polls Showing Biden’s Wide Lead

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Republicans have expressed skepticism over recent presidential polls that show Democratic nominee Joe Biden expanding his lead over President Donald Trump, The Hill reported Tuesday.

In nationwide polls, the president trails Biden by an average of almost 10 points, with recent polls showing spreads as high as 14%. Trump has also fallen behind in critical swing states including Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, which he won by a combined total of only 77,000 votes in 2016.

Some Republican Senators have been quick to invoke similar polls from 2016, which gave Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton a consistent leads over Trump.

“I think they’re in all likelihood underreporting support for the president. That’s what we saw in 2016,” Texas Sen. John Cornyn said.

Polls in the Texas show Trump and Biden in a dead heat, and Cornyn is running for reelection as well.

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley echoed Cornyn’s sentiment: “because of previous years’ polling being wrong, I think it’s legitimate to question. I don’t know whether they’re accurate or not.”

While Trump won Iowa by nine points in 2016, a recent Des Moines Register poll shows him leading Biden by one point in that state.

Trump himself has been far more critical of recent polls.

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Other Republicans said that the race would likely get closer as election day approaches, echoing the consensus opinion throughout much of Trump’s first term.

“No one is going to win a U.S. presidential election by 14 points,” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said, referencing the recent New York Times / Sienna College poll that gave Biden a 50-36 advantage over the president.

Though some Republicans discount many of the recent polls, others have worried whether Trump’s fall will affect other down-ballot races, especially if voters are less likely to split their ticket as they did in the 2018 midterm elections. Rubio noted that efforts to try and change Trump’s campaign strategy, however, are largely pointless.

“I think Donald Trump is going to run like Donald Trump. He hasn’t really changed much since that summer when he came down the escalator and I don’t anticipate he’s going to change now,” Rubio said.

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Andrew Trunsky

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