Donald Trump is used to spending the first 15 minutes of his campaign speeches boasting about his impressive poll numbers. In Iowa on Tuesday, the GOP candidate had to try a different strategy: "Iowa, will you get your numbers up, please?" Trump asked a crowd of 2,400, per CNN. "I don't like being second, second is terrible to me," he added. "So will you please do me a favor? … I promise you I will do such a good job." After more than 100 days leading the race for the GOP nomination, Trump found himself second to Ben Carson nationally as well as in Iowa, where evangelical voters hold a lot of power. "I am a great Christian … but the evangelicals let me down a little bit this month," Trump said. "I don't know what I did," he added, per NPR, admitting he needs "to work a little bit harder in Iowa."
"One of the reasons you don't brag about your standing in the polls is because when it goes down, you look silly attacking the polls you were praising not so long ago," says a GOP pundit. "You actually sound stronger when you're the poll leader if you dismiss those polls." Yet Trump's slump isn't a deathblow, says Newt Gingrich's former press secretary. "He just needs to find ways to re-establish his credibility as a winner," he says. "That's the way he can hold onto voters." Trump did try something else for the first time on Tuesday: When a wounded veteran asked him a question about Veterans Affairs, Trump walked off the stage so the two could have a more intimate conversation, reports NBC News. He then ended his speech with this line: "I refuse to say, 'Get your asses in gear.' I will not say that. I will not say it."