Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign manager reportedly admitted that the national public polling numbers, which show Biden overwhelmingly leading President Donald Trump, are inflated.
“Please take the fact that we are not ahead by double digits,” Jen O’Malley Dillon reportedly said during a grassroots summit of the campaign on Friday. “Those are inflated national public polling numbers.”
The video of the live event appears to have been deleted but her comments were posted on Twitter by New York Times reporter Shane Goldmacher.
The Biden campaign and Trump campaign didn’t respond to requests for comment.
This is not the first time Dillon has cautioned about complacency regarding Biden’s numbers.
She reportedly said in a three-page memo obtained by Fox News that Trump can still win the November election and the race is “neck and neck” in certain states like Arizona and North Carolina.
“[T]he reality is that this race is far closer than some of the punditry we’re seeing on Twitter and on TV would suggest,” Dillon allegedly wrote in the memo. “[E]ven the best polling can be wrong and that variables like turnout mean that in a number of critical swing states we are fundamentally tied.”
Currently, national polls data overwhelmingly show Trump trails Biden. As of Saturday, the RealClearPolitics average of the polls shows Biden leads Trump by nine percent nationally.
However, the Trump campaign is highly skeptical of the polls.
“In 2016, the ABC News/Washington Post Poll was such a complete disaster that these two … news Organizations changed the numbers prior to the Election,” Trump wrote in a Twitter post back on Oct. 11. “Now these haters are trying the same thing, though on a lesser scale, again. Will have a bigger win than even 2016!”
The current situation is reminiscent of the 2016 election when polls consistently showed Trump trailing Hillary Clinton by a significant margin before comfortably beating the Democratic nominee for the White House.
A study published in August by CloudResearch, an online market research and data collection company, found polls are unable to capture the full extent of support for Trump due to a “shy voter” phenomenon.
According to the study, 11.7 percent of Republican voters fall into the “shy voter” category, meaning they would be reluctant to disclose to pollsters their true preferences for who they would vote for in the presidential election—more than twice as likely as Democrats with a percentage of 5.4.
Tom Ozimek contributed to the report.