Trump Insists Polls Are Fake "Just Like Everything Else" & Then Starts To Brag About One
During a rally in Florida on Tuesday night, Trump insisted polls are fake "just like everything else" to the crowd, then referenced a popularity poll people aren't so sure exists. First, he accused the press of hiding polls that indicate his popularity. Next, he claimed that he was the most popular Republican in the history of the party, in spite of the fact that proper polling wasn't conducted during the first hundred years of the nation's history.
"Polls are fake, just like everything else," Trump said, to loud cheers. "If the fake news did a poll, it would show that I'm only getting 25% with the 401k even though they're up 44%. We're doing well ... "
Then, Trump referenced a poll that doesn't seem to exist. "They just came out with a poll - the most popular person in the history of the Republican Party is Trump!" Trump said. "Can you believe that? So I said, does that include Honest Abe Lincoln? He was pretty good, huh?"
Though Trump has referenced Lincoln (and his alleged superiority to him, in terms of presidential popularity) several times, it's unclear which poll he has been referencing. It's likely that he could be referencing a poll which revealed that his popularity among his party has hovered between 85 and 90 percent in the last few months, according to a recent poll by Gallup. However, even with that poll as his litmus test, it wouldn't be accurate to say he has been the most popular Republican president: George W. Bush reached 90 percent popularity among Republicans immediately following September 11, 2001.
Then Trump went on to mock other presidents who have acted "presidential" in the past. "When I'd be a little bit wild, and have a little fun, they'd say, 'Well, he's not acting presidential,'" Trump said. "And I'd say, 'Well, it's a lot easier to act presidential than to do what I do.'"
Trump has referenced this poll which pits him against Lincoln several times in the last few weeks. In an interview with UK tabloid The Sun, Trump said, "You know, a poll just came out that I am the most popular person in the history of the Republican Party. Beating Lincoln. I beat our Honest Abe. But the people of the UK, and I’ll bet if you had an honest poll, I’d be very strong."
Then on July 29, Trump tweeted, "Wow, highest Poll Numbers in the history of the Republican Party. That includes Honest Abe Lincoln and Ronald Reagan. There must be something wrong, please recheck that poll!"
As for more recent former Republican presidents, PolitiFact compared Trump's current approval rating to that of other presidents during a similar time period for their term. President Dwight Eisenhower had the second highest approval rating to Bush, higher even than Trump's, at 92 percent. Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan had the next highest approval ratings, at 81 and 74 percent, respectively.
Trump has not yet clarified what poll he is referencing that supposedly sets him higher than those presidents.