The reported instructions followed after a poll of 17 states was conducted for Mr Trump by pollster Tony Fabrizio, and then leaked. The polls showed Mr Trump behind Mr Biden in some important states for his re-election prospects, but it is not clear which states were identified in the internal polling.
After the top-line polling was leaked showing that potential vulnerability, the president instructed his aides to simply say that there is other data that shows him doing well, according to a report from The New York Times.
In spite of Mr Trump’s efforts to bury his own leaked internal polling, public surveys of voters in several states shows that he could face an uphill battle to be re-elected against Mr Biden should he win his party’s nomination.
Just last week, for instance, a Quinnipiac University poll found Mr Biden leading the president by 4 points in Texas — a potentially shocking state for a Republican to lose, given the state hasn’t broken for a Democrat since 1976.
In another poll, Mr Biden and other 2020 Democratic hopefuls also lead Mr Trump in Michigan, a state the president narrowly won in 2016.
Mr Trump saw upset victories in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin in 2016, with all three breaking for the Republican for the first time since the 1980s.
His narrow wins in those states would likely need to be replicated if he hopes to win in 2020, and losing a state like Texas would only further complicate the math for the president’s hopes to reclaim an electoral college victory.