Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has urged caution against taking presidential nominee Joe Biden’s polling lead “for granted.”
In an interview with CBS’s Margaret Brennan on “Face The Nation,” Perez responded to recent polls in battleground states that show Biden with various leads: the newest CBS News-YouGov polls show Biden with an edge over President Donald Trump.
“Do you think the Democratic Party has done enough in the midst of this pandemic to drive up either easy balloting or ability to go to the poll?” Brennan asked.
“Well, I always caution people, never to go on the ‘poll-er-coaster,’” Perez responded. “We take nothing for granted.”
Perez emphasized “enthusiasm” as a key indicator during his interview, citing early vote totals in Wisconsin where more than 25% of people have voted, and in Florida where Perez claimed 2.4 million people had voted.
“And what’s really interesting is the Democrats are overwhelmingly turning in their ballots and 350,000 of the Democrats that have turned in their ballots haven’t voted in the last two elections,” Perez added. “So it’s not just people who are voting for convenience.”
The DNC’s stance aligns with Biden’s internal campaign messaging, according to The Hill. A memo obtained from Biden’s campaign manager, Jen O’Malley Dillon, urged against complacency, claiming that “every indication we have shows that this thing is going to come down to the wire.”
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“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.” Dillon said in the memo. “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.”
National polls show Biden with double-digit leads in NBC New/WSJ polls, NPR/PBS/Marist polls and Reuters polls. Rasmussen and IBD/TIPP polls show a closer race with Biden ahead around +5-7 points. Biden has found increasing support among groups including seniors, men and White, non-college voters – groups that more strongly supported Trump in 2016.
The possible switch in support may be due to the perception of how Trump has handled the coronavirus. According to polls, support for Biden is most strongly correlated to concerns over the coronavirus and healthcare, while support for Trump most strongly correlated to the economy or the Supreme Court.
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At a state level, Biden has a 5-point lead in Wisconsin and a 3-point lead in Arizona, according to the polls. The average spread among battleground states – which includes Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Arizona – shows Biden with an average lead of +4.3 points.
The most recent Real Clear Politics polling averages show a fairly consistent though increasingly worrying picture for both candidates. That difference has been roughly the same for the past few weeks, but the past few days has shown a small decrease in that lead: Biden held a +4.9 point lead on October 12.
Among those states, Florida has the slightest difference with only +1.4 points for Biden, with his greatest lead of +3.8 on October 9. Cutting that number in half may be due to Trump’s recent campaigning in the state, but that has left him with larger battles to fight in the rust belt states.
In Michigan, Biden holds an average +7.2 point lead, and in Wisconsin he holds an average +6.1 point lead.
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All of these numbers include a margin of error, which averages around 4 points.