After resisting for months, Trump hires top pollster

After calling pollsters a waste of money, Donald Trump’s presidential campaign reversed course and signed up veteran political strategist and pollster Tony Fabrizio, sources tell POLITICO.

Fabrizio has worked on numerous presidential elections. He is also a top strategist for the Florida U.S. Senate campaign of Rep. Ron DeSantis, masterminded Gov. Rick Scott’s improbable Florida win in 2010 and was pollster for Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin in his 2015 win. Scott and Bevin share a common bond with Trump: They were both outsider businessmen who bucked the establishment.

Rumored for more than a month, Fabrizio’s hiring still came as a surprise to those who have listened to Trump boast that he doesn’t employ pollsters. Trump has questioned the value of paying for them when so many polls are published each day in the media — and framed that as part of his outsider appeal.

“I don’t have pollsters. I don’t want to waste money on pollsters,” he told “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd last August, adding, “I don’t want to be unreal. I want to be me. I have to be me.”