After a spout of a long summer — don’t call it global warming, it’ll make him angry — fall appears to be settling into Iowa as Donald Trump’s numbers have taken a strong dive in October. Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon, now owns the title of frontrunner for the first-in-the-nation state whose primary kicks off the season in February.
This has not been received well by Trump, who once touted the polls as indicators that he was the clear winner throughout the nation, citing the summer numbers that were giving him upwards of a 16-point lead in the Hawkeye State. And he had a point. Very few, if any, of the main polls showed the businessman losing any steam, taking brief dips in the numbers when the media talked about other candidates along the way before regaining traction.
But now, after five polls released regarding Iowa over the past week, Trump’s lead has not only diminished but Carson has the commanding advantage over the slate of Republican candidates. Aside from the CBS poll, which only polled registered voters and not likely voters, showing a tie for the two candidates, Trump is trailing Carson by at least 8 percent and as much as 14 percent, a sign that trouble is brewing in the Midwest for a Trump White House.
This hasn’t stopped The Donald from proclaiming his impending victory over his opponents, though. In fact, it just means he has shifted his rhetoric from saying the polls are showing he blowing away the competition to now saying the polls, like everyone else, is against him.
“I love Iowa, and I honestly think those polls are wrong,” Trump said while in Miami last week. “Both of those polling companies do not like me.” Problematically for Trump’s narrative, however, is that all of the polls in the latest string of five showed Trump in much better positions earlier this year.
The Trump story continued on Monday morning in New Hampshire on during a town hall meeting hosted by NBC’s Matt Lauer when he called the Des Moines Register a “terrible paper” and a “very liberal paper,” despite the fact that the poll was conducted by one of the most accurate Iowa pollsters in recent history with Ann Selzer.
“And by the way, I have other polls in Iowa that say I am winning,” Trump continued, trying to rewrite the story. “This is (sic) two small polls. And all over the country, I am winning by massive numbers. But I will say I think I’m winning in Iowa. I think I’m doing really well with evangelicals, with tea party, with everything else. We’ll see what happens — but that was the only one where I had a slight lead.”
Unfortunately for Trump, though, the narrative does not match the reality. In this chart created by The Washington Post, Trump’s slide is now a trend. This doesn’t mean Trump is destined to lose, though it does mean that he has to overcome Carson’s lead if he wants to latch onto early momentum heading past the Iowa caucus before the first primary in New Hampshire. Though, he may not need much help in that state, as he enjoys a 15.5 point advantage over his opponents in that state.
The problem, though, is that as other polls may show him trailing, even temporarily, Trump could either state that numbers swing all the time or that the poll that matters is the one done on Election Day. Instead, the billionaire businessman appears to try and create a new reality, one where he is winning everywhere at all times.