Adviser's claim that Democrats will try to steal election raises doubts about Trump campaign's confidence

Tim O'Donnell
·2 min read

Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Sunday that he's feeling good about President Trump's re-election chances. Not everyone's buying his confidence, however.

Appearing on the latest edition of This Week, Miller explained that he believes Trump will win every Sun Belt state he captured in 2016, including Florida and Arizona. In that case, Miller added, Trump likely needs to take just one of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania to seal the deal. Miller then said that "many smart Democrats" agree Trump will be ahead on election night, "probably getting 280 electoral" votes. Afterwards, he said, the Democrats will try to "steal it back" with "high jinks or lawsuits or whatever kind of nonsense."

Miller's comments sparked a backlash, including from Republicans. Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox (R) pointed out that "elections are never decided" the night of (rather projections are made, which are often clear enough to establish the eventual victor, prompting the opponent to concede), and that it takes Utah and many other states at least two weeks to count ballots and certify results, rendering Miller's argument moot. "It really doesn't matter who is ahead on election night," he said.

But regardless of the technical inaccuracy, FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver thinks Miller's pre-emptive messaging actually signals that the campaign isn't so optimistic about their chances after all.

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