A pollster for the Trump campaign accused the media of voter suppression for conducting pre-election surveys wrongly showing Joe Biden way ahead of the president.
Pollster John McLaughlin said he got a call from Trump after the Washington Post/ABC published a survey showing him trailing Biden, the former vice president, by 17 points in the battleground state of Wisconsin
The Associated Press called the race for Biden, who led Trump by a razor-thin 49.6 percent to 49 percent, or 20,000 votes
McLaughlin was conducting polls for the Trump campaign in the Badger State.
“The president called me and said, `Could this be true?,’” McLaughlin said on 77 WABC’s John Catsimatidis’ “Cats At Night” Radio show on Wednesday.
“No,” McLaughlin said he told the president. “This is their strategy. They want to suppress your vote.”
McLaughlin claimed misleading polls undercounting Trump’s support were damaging because most of his voters planned to vote in-person on Election Day. Most of Biden’s supporters voted early.
Still, a projected record-shattering 160 million Americans voted in the 2020 elections amid the coronavirus pandemic. About two-thirds of eligible voters cast ballots, the highest turnout since 2000.
His own survey of 1,000 voters nationally released Thursday revealed that 58 percent of Biden backers voted early while 62 percent of Trump supporters voted on Election Day.
But McLaughlin’s own internal surveys for the Trump campaign in Wisconsin showed a tight race, within the sampling margin of error — or a dead heat.
McLaughlin said the Washington Post-ABC poll estimated that Republicans would comprise 26 percent of the Election Day voter turnout, while the Trump campaign projected GOP voters accounting for 34 of the turnout, based on 2016 exit polls. That poll clearly under-sampled Republican voters by eight points, he said.
“That’s voter suppression. If you don’t think your candidate can win, why vote?,” the Trump pollster told The Post on Thursday, when asked about his earlier comments.
Trump even recounted his conversation with McLaughlin at a rally in North Carolina on Monday.
“When you’re down by 17 people say, `I just can’t waste my time. I’m not going to stand in line,’” Trump told supporters.
He said “isn’t that sad” that the media pollsters were working against him.
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