With thousands of enthusiastic supporters showing up to his rallies, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump says he doesn't understand why he's not doing better in polls.
The real estate developer turned politician vented his frustration to Mike Gallagher, the host of a nationally syndicated conservative talk radio show, on June 30.
With more than four months until the election, a Real Clear Politics aggregate of national polls shows Democrat Hillary Clinton with a 4.8 percent lead over her Republican rival. The news isn't all bad for Trump -- a Rasmussen Reports poll taken on June 28 and 29 found Trump leading Clinton by 4 points among likely voters, and Clinton's lead has narrowed somewhat in recent surveys after a rough June for the Trump campaign.
But Gallagher blamed the media for the fact that most polls show Clinton with a lead, and kicked off the 15-minute interview by saying he believes Trump's campaign is on the upswing.
Listeners to Gallagher's radio show have "been telling me wait and see, these poll numbers that the mainstream media throws in our face, even these polls are going to change as terror attacks happen, and as Donald Trump has a common sense response to it all," Gallagher said, according to a recording of the interview hosted on his site. "The tide is going to turn."
Coming off rallies in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, Trump said he doesn't think the poll numbers square with the size of the crowds that greet him.
"And you know, I walked out of one [rally], and I said, ‘I don’t see how I’m not leading,'" Trump told Gallagher. "We have thousands of people standing outside trying to get in, and they’re great people and they have such spirit for the country and love for the country, and I’m saying, you know, ‘Why am I not doing better in the polls?’ And I’ve noticed the polls are coming up."
Like Gallagher, Trump blamed the press, saying the coverage is "just a constant hit from mainstream media, no matter what you do, it’s always a negative.”
Steve Benen, a blogger for MSNBC and producer of "The Rachel Maddow Show," wrote that Trump is not the only recent presidential contender to express surprise that large and enthusiastic crowds don't always translate to votes or percentage points in polls.
"Bernie Sanders also saw 'massive' crowds, and as impressive as that was, the senator still came up short in the race for the Democratic nomination," Benen wrote. "Every major presidential candidate can draw an audience. That doesn’t mean he or she is going to win."
Some observers say it's too early to draw conclusions about the race, particularly before either party has held its convention. The Republican convention is scheduled for July 18 to 21 in Cleveland, while Democrats will hold their convention from July 25 to 28 in Philadelphia.
"It’s still very early," Bloomberg's Jonathan Bernstein wrote. "Both candidates are still consolidating support from voters within their own parties who opposed them in the nomination stage. The conventions usually play a prominent role in this process."