Democrat congresswoman Debbie Dingell is sounding the alarm to members of her party over fears they are once again underestimating Donald Trump and putting too much stock in polls.
Dingell, the wife of the late John Dingell, fears a repeat of the 2016 election in which Democrats were far too confident of their chances on election day.
As The Atlantic reports:
Dingell didn’t believe the polling numbers in 2016, and she doesn’t believe them now. Recent surveys suggest that Joe Biden has a real shot in Michigan, a state he likely needs to capture to unseat the president. Polls show the former vice president leading Trump by at least 5 points there, and one survey last month, from an in-state pollster, actually showed Biden up by 16. The anti-Trump Twitterati and the political press have circulated these findings with great excitement, just as they did similar surveys in other battleground states. Dingell hasn’t. “That’s a bullshit poll,” she told me simply, in reference to the 16-point survey. Biden may be a different candidate from Clinton, with his strong union ties and middle-class identity, both of which he’s cultivated over decades. But he still needs to make personal connections with working-class Michiganders, she warns—outreach that has been impeded by the coronavirus pandemic…
Dingell: I don’t trust polling. I don’t believe that Biden is 16 points up in Michigan; that’s a bullshit poll, and it’s the same people who said Hillary had it in the bag…
Dingell had previously tried to warn the Hillary Clinton campaign about the danger of its arrogance in 2016, she turned out to be right but it didn’t save Clinton from losing to Trump that year:
As the story goes, Dingell, a three-term representative and the widow of the late congressman John Dingell, relayed her concerns to the Clinton campaign immediately: The former secretary of state wasn’t spending enough time communicating with white, working-class voters, she warned. Even a year later, when poll after poll showed Clinton up by a comfortable margin in Michigan ahead of the general election, Dingell was adamant that her party not take the state for granted. In the end, she was right: Michigan, which a Republican presidential candidate hadn’t won since 1988, went to Trump by a few thousand votes. The polls had simply been wrong.
Dingell is right to try to warn Democrats that they are once again underestimating Donald Trump and putting too much faith in highly questionable polls, but it’s likely that her warnings will once again fall on deaf ears and the results of November’s election may be eerily similar to 2016’s.