David Cole, at Taki Mag, thinks the unthinkable.
Last week was not a very good week for Donald Trumpâ€™s poll numbers. In fact, I had several Trump diehardsâ€”not bloggers or pundits, just private nobodies who are friends of mineâ€”tell me that these days they find themselves thinking the once unthinkable: Trump might lose. Trumpâ€™s multiple recent statements speculating about the possibility of a loss have not helped soothe some of his followersâ€™ growing anxiety. With so many Trump supporters framing the election as the â€œlast hope for Western civilization,â€ itâ€™s not exactly encouraging to hear your man say, â€œItâ€™s okay. I have a yacht and a mansion; Iâ€™ll be fine.â€
Now, I know that some of you are thinking, â€œThe polls are wrong, the polls are biased, the polls lie.â€ You keep thinking that. Because by all means donâ€™t listen to those of us with a little more experience in these matters. I mean, for a lot of pro-Trumpers, especially those who come from the alt-right fringe, this is their first time feeling like an active participant in a national presidential election. As a longtime GOP party hack, I can tell you that the â€œlying pollsâ€ line is not something you want to fall for. In 2008, many GOPs had convinced themselves that the polls were not to be believed because Americans were being untruthful with pollsters, as no white person wanted to admit he wasnâ€™t gonna vote for the black guy. â€œBut wait till they get in the voting booth,â€ we smugly assured ourselves. â€œThen theyâ€™ll vote our way.â€ And we all know how that turned out.
The â€œlying pollsâ€ rationalization made an encore in 2012. I wrote about it in my book, as I recalled the events of an October 2012 Condi Rice banquet:
I was taken aside by Derek Broes. Broes had been a senior VP at Paramount, and senior director at Microsoft. By 2012, he ran his own consulting firm, and he was a contributor to Forbes. â€œItâ€™s a lock, David,â€ he told me. â€œItâ€™s going to be a Romney landslide.â€ He painstakingly explained the polling numbers and the context and meaning. â€œWe canâ€™t lose.â€
So take some advice that I know youâ€™re not going to take: Donâ€™t buy the â€œlying pollsâ€ claim. Polls are imperfect, but generally theyâ€™re accurate.