During a Monday night interview, CNN’s Anderson Cooper pressed Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer on Donald Trump’s insistence that he is winning the race despite polls showing otherwise, pushing Spicer to explain Trump’s claims about “phony polls.”
Cooper began by noting that Trump is trailing Hillary Clinton in a new CNN poll. In response, Spicer said that Trump is performing well in key battleground states like Florida, Iowa, Ohio, and Nevada.
When Cooper pressed Spicer on Trump’s path to winning the election, noting that CNN’s projections show Trump coming up short, Spicer said that Trump is also doing well in New Hampshire and Maine. But Cooper then noted that polling shows Clinton ahead in those states.
The CNN host then asked about a tweet published by Trump on Monday claiming that Democrats are making up “phony polls” to suppress Trump voters.
“Can you point to which polls and which Democrats he’s referring to?” Cooper asked Spicer. “Because he’s not provided any evidence.”
“There’s an outlier today, ABC showing it a 12-point race, that’s by far an outlier,” Spicer replied.
He began to discuss the poll’s demographics before Cooper jumped in, and said that the ABC poll isn’t “phony.”
“Phony polls are the online polls that Donald Trump always seems to be referencing,” Cooper said. “Even the Rasmussen poll, you know, isn’t something that we would use.”
Spicer then referenced the Rassmussen and Investors Business Daily (IBD) polls, both of which Trump has cited at rallies to prove that he is ahead. Spicer said that the IBD poll has been the “most accurate poll going back a couple cycles.”
Cooper then pointed out that CNN doesn’t use the IBD poll because they don’t make their methodology public and that the Rasmussen conducts part of its survey online.
In response, Spicer said, “Right. I understand that, but I’m not saying that you have to accept it, but it doesn’t make it phony.”
Trump also brought up Democrats’ polling at a rally in Florida on Monday, where he discussed a hacked 2008 email from Clinton adviser John Podesta in which Democratic activist Tom Matzzie discussed “oversampling” polls. Trump said that the email shows Podesta “rigged the polls.” However, pollsters use oversampling to get a statistically significant result for specific demographic groups, and then the numbers are weighted to reflect the accurate proportions for the overall results. And it appears that Matzzie was discussing internal polling, not public polling.
Watch part of Cooper’s interview with Spicer via CNN: