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"WASHINGTON — Late at night, using his old personal cellphone number, President Trump has been calling former advisers who have not heard from him in years, eager to discuss his standing in the polls against the top Democrats in the field — specifically Joseph R. Biden Jr., whom he describes in those conversations as “too old” and “not as popular as people think.”
After being briefed on a devastating 17-state poll conducted by his campaign pollster, Tony Fabrizio, Mr. Trump told aides to deny that his internal polling showed him trailing Mr. Biden in many of the states he needs to win, even though he is also trailing in public polls from key states like Texas, Michigan and Pennsylvania. And when top-line details of the polling leaked, including numbers showing the president lagging in a cluster of critical Rust Belt states, Mr. Trump instructed aides to say publicly that other data showed him doing well.
Mr. Biden seems to have gotten into the president’s head — at least for now. And on Tuesday, the president will engage with him, if indirectly, for the first time during the 2020 campaign when they both make appearances in Iowa."
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