Donald Trump in the Rose Garden of the White House, June 14, 2019

Donald Trump’s re-election campaign fires three members of his polling team after the leak of numbers showing him trailing former Vice President Joe Biden by double digits in several key states.

Before Trump’s official launch of his re-election bid on Tuesday, the campaign dismissed Brett Loyd, Mike Baselice, and Adam Geller while retaining pollsters Tony Fabrizio and John McLaughlin.

On May 20, Politico summarized a 17-state poll by Fabrizio which showed Trump trailing by double digits by Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Michigan — all states narrowly won by Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Trump is also behind Biden in Iowa, North Carolina, and Ohio and even in the usually-Republican “red state” of Georgia. He has a narrow edge in Texas.

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After the Politico revelation, Trump denied any polling had been done:

But Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale, later confirmed that the numbers are indeed from internal polling. The results were published by ABC News last Friday.

White House and campaign officials said Trump — well-known for his self-promotion of positive poll numbers and his false declaration of a “historic” Electoral College victory in 2016 — was furious about the leak.

“He is madder that the numbers are out than that the numbers exist,” said one “senior administration official”.

Several campaign advisors said that they were dismayed by the leak of the polling data and that it explained Trump’s fixation on Biden, whom he repeatedly insults as “Sleepy Joe”.