Former Obama adviser Messina dismisses latest Trump-Biden polls

Jim Messina, a former adviser to President Obama, dismissed new polls from The New York Times and Siena College showing President Biden trailing former President Trump in a hypothetical match-up, suggesting that it is too early to be concerned.

“First of all, the whole thing about polling this far out is silly,” Messina told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Monday when asked to explain the poll numbers. He emphasized that people will begin to pay closer attention to the candidates when the election comes around next year.

“And so right now people are comparing Biden to the almighty, not sure who the Republican nominee is going to be,” he added. “And we haven’t gotten to that binary choice that you talked about earlier. Next year where we’re at that binary choice, that’s going to sway voters [to] start to pay attention. Not this far out.”

The New York Times/Siena College poll published Sunday found that Trump leads Biden in a hypothetical match-up in the five critical battleground states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania. Biden is only leading in Wisconsin by 2 points, the poll found.

Separately, a CBS News poll released Sunday found Trump getting 51 percent of the vote compared with Biden’s 48 percent.

The new polls have led some Democrats to express concerns. Former Obama senior political adviser David Axelrod on Sunday suggested Biden drop out of the 2024 presidential race in the wake of the new polls.

When asked about Axelrod’s comments, Messina reiterated that Biden remains in a strong position to win the election if he stays in the race. He said if Biden were to drop out, a Democratic primary would likely hurt Democrats in their race against Trump.

“Look, I think the data really matters here. And since World War II, if one incumbent president hasn’t run, the other party has won every election except for 1988,” he said. “And the second thing is we’ve already had this election, Trump versus Biden, and Biden won that election and knows how to how to stand up to Trump.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) also expressed his worries over Biden’s polling numbers on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“I was concerned before these polls, and I’m concerned now,” Blumenthal said Sunday. “These presidential races over the last couple of terms have been very tight. No one is going to have a runaway election here. It’s going to take a lot of hard work, concentration, resources.”

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