The U.S. presidential election is less than four months away and incumbent Donald Trump's numbers look grim. Several polls conducted over the last few weeks have shown the President trailing competitor Joe Biden by as many as 14 points.
Those ominous stats have forced Trump supporters into an uncomfortable spot. To claim continued confidence in the face of numbers like that, some supporters have resorted to mental gymnastics and conspiracy theories.
Fox and Friends host Brian Kilmeade recently peddled a theory that an untapped trove of Trump voters has deliberately avoided participating in polls, only to come out on election day and catapult the sitting President to a surprise re-election victory.
Kilmeade invoked the hopeful idea during a recent interview with Louisiana Congressman and Biden campaign co-chair Cedric Richmond.
Richmond very quickly shut it down.
He speculated that the reverse of Kilmeade's the was likely more accurate:
"No, I think the pressure and the atmosphere of the Republican Party these days, there are probably more secret Biden voters."
"Republicans are scared to stand up to this president! They don't want to be isolated, they don't want to be picked on and bullied if they're not with this president, just like congressmen and senators are afraid to step up because when they do, they get smacked down on Twitter."
Richmond continued by painting an image of the anti-Trump windfall.
"Anytime you're fighting a bully, once a bully gets into a real fight, everybody comes out to score a lick because they're tired of being bullied. And I think that that's how some Republicans feel about their party right now."
In response, an angered Kilmeade answered back with the journalistic equivalent of "nuh uh."
"Right, I didn't know you were speaking for Republicans or you knew their mindset because he has 92% of their support."
Catch the whole exchange below.
In which Brian Kilmeade gets increasingly agitated as Cedric Richmond explains that the secret Trump voter probably… https://t.co/BqxibOnkN5— Matthew Gertz (@Matthew Gertz)1594905118.0
People on Twitter found the secret Trump voter theory unlikely, and even laughable.
@MattGertz When you’re pinning all your hopes on the secret voters 😂😂😂😂— 🐎Rider (@🐎Rider)1594905423.0
@MattGertz As real as my diploma from trump university— AlexMCelebrateEverything (@AlexMCelebrateEverything)1594917608.0
@MattGertz Yep, just like the orange orangutan, ignore what people are saying and just insert your own thoughts.— Nigel Hannah (@Nigel Hannah)1594916610.0
Some people mused about the implications of the theory.
Supporting Trump is best kept secret.
@MattGertz I guess "secret Trump voters" stayed away in Tulsa and had no plans to show up in New Hampshire. But has… https://t.co/TreAr872I4— Richard (@Richard)1594945990.0
Of course, no amount of polls can ever predict an outcome with 100% confidence (Exhibit A: the 2016 election).
Only the election on November 3 will bring an end to the constant speculation we can expect to dominate the media for the next few months.