There’s no reason to believe Trump. An examination of publicly released internal Republican and conservative group polling reveals they’re also showing Trump clearly underperforming his 2016 showing.
The reason is simple: Partisans don’t want to release polls that are bad for their side. That means the polls sponsored by a party, candidate or partisan organization tend to be biased in favor of the side releasing the poll.
That’s why it was amazing to find that on average, Trump was doing 5 points worse than he did in 2016 in the states and districts in released Republican and conservative polls.
If Trump actually did 5 points worse than he did in 2016 in the swing states, it would mean he’d lose Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Those states, plus the ones Hillary Clinton won in 2016, would be more than enough for Biden to get over 270 electoral votes.
But remember: These are only the polls conservatives and Republicans were willing to put into the public sphere. There’s good reason to believe it’s worse for Trump in the numbers they’re not releasing.
Indeed, one of the more interesting aspects of the internal polls so far put out by Republicans is how few of them there are.
Since the conventions, Democratic candidates and groups trying to get them elected have put out about 75% of the House internal polls released by either side. That isn’t nearly as lopsided as it was for a period in the summer, but it’s still large by historical standards.
Democrats also put out about 75% of the House internal polls in both 2006 and 2018.
Those were years in which the national environment heavily favored the Democrats and they took back control of the House.
This year, the Democrats already have the House, and it’s unlikely we’ll see the same national vote swing in the Democrats’ direction. But we’d likely see a lot more internal polls released by Republicans if they were doing well.
The bottom line is that there’s really no reason to think that the Republicans have some secret polling putting Trump in a better position than the public polling does. The signs, in fact, point in the opposite direction.
Trump and his fellow Republicans seem to be running behind no matter what polling you examine.