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Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign manager disputed polling showing him ahead of President Donald Trump by double digits in an online grassroots summit.
“Please take the fact that we are not ahead by double digits,” Biden campaign chief Jen O’Malley Dillon said, according to New York Times reporter Shane Goldmacher, who posted her comment on Twitter.
“Those are inflated national public polling numbers,” Dillon added, according to Goldmacher.
Biden campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon, in grassroots summit, emphasizes that their polling does NOT show a double-digit lead nationally.
"Please take the fact that we are not ahead by double digits"
“Those are inflated national public polling numbers” pic.twitter.com/v95za3XRGZ
— Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) October 16, 2020
Throughout the summer and into the fall, national polling has had Biden leading the president, and often by double digits. To that point, polling released this week by NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist and NBC News/Wall Street Journal each claim Biden is leading by 11 points.
Also, Biden is supposedly ahead in most, if not all, battleground states, according to most polling. And to that point, Dillon also expressed confidence during the summit that Biden would take Arizona, which has voted red since 1996.
“I know we’re going to win Arizona,” she said.
That said, however, in a memo to supporters, Dillon also warned against complacency, indicating some fear within the campaign that the polling numbers nationwide and in battleground states may not be accurate.
“We cannot become complacent because the very searing truth is that Donald Trump can still win this race,” Dillon said in the memo, which was first obtained by the Washington Post and Fox News. “And every indication we have shows that this thing is going to come down to the wire.”
She added that the race was really “neck and neck,” despite what the polling indicated, adding that it’s “far closer than some of the punditry we’re seeing on Twitter and on TV would suggest.”
“While we see robust leads at the national level, in the states we’re counting on to carry us to victory like Arizona and North Carolina we’re only up by three points,” she wrote.
“We also know that even the best polling can be wrong, and that variables like turnout mean that in a number of critical states we are functionally tied — and that we need to campaign like we’re trailing,” Dillon added.
In 2016, Trump didn’t capture the popular vote — though Hillary Clinton’s popular vote majority reportedly came from a single state, California. Trump, by comparison, soundly defeated Clinton in the Electoral College, 306-232; 270 is the amount needed to win the presidency.
That said, several battleground states were extremely close, and for both candidates. The president won Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin by less than 2 points each, though he lost Minnesota to Clinton by a similarly small percentage.
And throughout the 2016 presidential election cycle, national polling consistently had Clinton ahead, often by a lot.
“If we learned anything from 2016, it’s that we cannot underestimate Donald Trump or his ability to claw his way back into contention in the final days of a campaign, through whatever smears or underhanded tactics he has at his disposal,” Dillon noted in her memo — though it was Trump’s campaign that was targeted in the final weeks by Clinton, the Obama administration, and FBI operatives.
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