He might have lost a staggering NZ$2.54 billion over just one decade — but diehard supporters of US President Donald Trump are still convinced of his business prowess.
That's according to the shock findings of a new Politico/Morning Consult poll, which revealed a staggering 85 per cent of Republican voters believe he has been successful in business.
That flies in the face of findings released by the New York Times earlier this month, which revealed Trump actually lost US$1.17 billion over just one decade.
That figure was revealed following tireless research by reporters, who pored over Trump's federal income tax returns from 1985 to 1994 to find he lost $US46.1 million from his main businesses — including hotels and casinos — in 1985 alone, and $US500 million in 1990 and 1991.
In fact, he lost millions every year for a decade — more than "nearly any other individual American taxpayer" — and as a direct result of that loss, "he was able to avoid paying income taxes for eight of the 10 years".
The explosive report claimed the evidence found in Trump's financial records paint a "far bleaker picture of his deal-making abilities and financial condition" than he would have the public believe.
That's why the results of the new poll are so surprising, with 54 per cent of voters across the political spectrum believing the 72-year-old "has been successful in business," compared to 36 per cent who think he has been unsuccessful.
Even when those polled where specifically reminded about the bombshell Times findings, 74 per cent of Republicans still insisted the president was "somewhat to very successful" in business.
After the Times report was published, the president hit back in typical Trump fashion, dismissing it as a "highly inaccurate Fake News hit job" on Twitter and arguing it was normal for real estate developers to suffer extensive losses during that time period.
It seems most voters agreed, with only 10 per cent of Republican supporters believing Trump has been unsuccessful.
According to Politico, the results of the poll might not be so surprising, given the president "has spent most of his adult life cultivating an image as so outrageously successful that his very name was synonymous with luxury — plastered in gold on aeroplanes, plush hotels, high-roller casinos and finely manicured public and private golf courses".
In fact, the former reality TV star drew upon his apparent business acumen during his presidential campaign, depicting himself as a business genius who was able to overcome setbacks and bankruptcies — which he blamed on the recession of 1990 rather than his own failings — to rebuild his fortune and empire.
As journalists Russ Buettner and Susanne Craig argue in their lengthy piece, "Mr Trump built a business licensing his name, became a television celebrity and ran for the White House by branding himself a self-made billionaire" who made his fortune with a $US1 million loan from his father.
In reality though, Trump was earning the equivalent of $US200,000 from his father from the age of three — a figure that soared to $US1 million annually once he graduated from college.
However, despite voters' unwavering belief in Trump's business triumphs, support for the man has slipped, with 56 per cent disapproving of his presidential achievements, and his approval rating falling to 41 per cent from 43 per cent, Politico reports.