Trump's campaign manager tried to spook Democrats with new poll numbers — but it completely backfired

Trump's campaign manager tried to spook Democrats with new poll numbers — but it completely backfired
Brad Parscale image by Gage Skidmore, CC

Brad Parscale, President Donald Trump's 2020 campaign manager, has an ominous warning for Democrats on Thursday.


"Nancy Pelosi is marching members of her caucus off the plank and into the abyss," he said in a tweet. "Impeachment is killing her freshman members and polling proves it."

He added: "Say goodbye to your majority, Nancy!"

But even with a cursory inspection, observers quickly point out that his scary poll numbers were nothing of the sort for Democrats.

The data, shared on Twitter, should be treated with caution, as any campaign's numbers demand. But according to the Trump team's polling, Democratic Rep. Kendra Horn of Oklahoma's Fifth District faces headwinds in her re-election. The poll said 49 percent of 300 likely voters polled in her district wanted to elect a Republican. Only 42 percent want a Democrat. Even worse seeming for Horn, only 37 percent said she deserved re-election, while 49 percent said they wanted "someone else."

Again, these poll numbers should be treated skeptically, given the source. But considering the source, the following numbers don't look good for Trump and the GOP at all.

In this GOP-leaning district, 45 percent of people favored impeaching Trump, while 52 percent of voters oppose it. And only 36 percent of voters said they would be less likely to vote for Horn's re-election if she were to vote for Trump's impeachment. Another 28 percent said it would make them more likely to vote for her. It's hard to say what these numbers really mean, because many of the people who say they would be less likely to vote for her if she votes for impeachment may have never intended to vote for her anyway, and vice versa. But note that it actually seems, according to this poll, that impeachment itself is more popular than the candidate herself. That seems to suggest there's little downside for her to support it, if she thinks it's otherwise warranted.

"All caveats about this polling aside, it shows impeachment running eight points ahead of the incumbent congresswoman. 45 percent support in a heavily pro-Trump district," noted Politico reporter Kyle Cheney of the numbers.

Vox's Aaron Rupar similarly added: "OK-5 had been a Republican seat for 45 consecutive years before last year’s election, so the fact it’s even in play in 2020 is actually a sign of Trump’s weakness, not his strength."

And Mike DeBonis, who covers Congress for the Washington Post, tweeted: "If you are telling Dem strategists that OK-05 (Trump+14, Romney+19) is 45% pro-impeach, I'm guessing they are going to feel pretty darn good about holding the majority."

Cody Fenwick is a senior editor at AlterNet. He writes about politics, media and science. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.
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