Donald Trump loves to quote polls that don’t exist. Campaigns do have internal polls that can sometimes show modestly different results than public polls. But the “polls” that Trump likes to quote are often a million proverbial miles away from what any polling outlet is saying.
It’s always suggested that Trump’s failing campaign people have merely been feeding him imaginary poll numbers to make him think he’s doing better than he is, so he won’t figure out he’s losing and fire them. Now Trump’s campaign people seem to be moving on to a new phase: feeding him false information about the election-related court rulings that are going against him.
Today the Supreme Court once again rejected the Trump/GOP argument for curtailing the counting of mail-in ballots, with Amy Coney Barrett interestingly recusing herself. In response to the news, Trump’s Deputy Campaign Manager Justin Clark tweeted this: “Major decision protecting voting rights in PENNSYLVANIA. Ballots received after Election Day will NOT be counted. More to come but BIG WIN for the rule of law.”
This is so obviously false, Twitter quickly covered it up with a warning label that said “Some or all of the content shared in this Tweet is disputed and might be misleading about an election or other civic process.” The question is why Clark would even post something like this.
If he simply read the decision wrong, he’d likely have deleted his tweet by now in order to minimize the embarrassment. Instead he’s still trying to double down on it in subsequent tweets, meaning this is the message he wants out there.
To be clear, there is nothing to be gained by feeding this particular lie to the public at this time, as it’s not the kind of misinformation that would trick someone into screwing up and not having their vote counted. Instead, the most plausible explanation here is that Clark is simply playing to an audience of one: Donald Trump. He wants Trump to believe that he won today’s Supreme Court ruling, so Trump will believe that his campaign is scoring victories for him.
It’s not clear what the endgame is. If Donald Trump loses next week as expected, his campaign people will be out of work anyway. But we suppose that if you’re going to run a grift of a presidential campaign whose main goal is to trick the delusional candidate into thinking he’s winning so he won’t interrupt the grift, you might as well see it through all the way to the end.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report