There was a time when Donald Trump loved polls.
It was eons ago, politically. "Lyin' Ted" and "Little Marco" were still threats in the Republican primaries. A matchup with Hillary Clinton seemed a long way off.
"I always say, when you're number one, you talk," Trump said at a rally on Jan. 29 in Nashua, N.H. "And all of the time, these politicians, they ask me, 'Why do you always mention polls?' I said, 'Because I'm number one, and you're number seven.'"
He loves them a little less these days, perhaps because the latest polls have him lagging behind Hillary Clinton, pretty much across the board. He went a whole two weeks without tweeting a poll at the beginning of August, and when he finally broke his poll silence, it was, bizarrely, to tweet out a poll in which he was shown to be losing.
'It's just a 2-point race, Clinton 38%, Trump 36%' https://t.co/EzDzJ4EzIN
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2016
Trump's decline in polls in the wake of the two political conventions held last month began to cause panic among Republicans, and Trump himself reportedly began to tell friends privately that he blamed micromanagement by advisers and a change in strategy away from his shoot-from-the-hip style toward scripted, "teleprompter Trump" for his recent numbers.
It's not a huge stretch, then, to say that this week's shake-up of top Trump advisers was an attempt at a reset, at a minimum. But the campaign tried its hardest to smother that narrative, sending its small army of television surrogates to attempt to change the narrative. In the video above, several of Trump's top surrogates can be seen trying to deflect the argument that the campaign shake-up wasn't a … campaign shake-up.