According to a Friday report from The Hill, Democratic strategists and operatives believe complacency will not be an issue in the 2020 presidential election, even though the party’s presidential nominee Joe Biden has surged past President Donald Trump in most polls.
Democratic donor and member of the Democratic National Committee Robert Zimmerman suggested that Democrats are not being overconfident.
“One of the great strengths Democrats bring to 2020 is that we’re not suffering from overconfidence. We’ve seen this movie before,” he said.
Strategist Christy Setzer echoed Zimmerman, stating that complacency “is not a real thing.”
“Getting caught off-guard by a secret Trump army definitely falls into the ‘fool me once’ category,” she said.
“We have a lot of worries. But complacency doesn’t crack the top 10 for me,” Setzer added, explaining that concerns over voter suppression and the Electoral College system top her list.
As The Hill noted, during a fundraiser earlier this week, former President Barack Obama issued a warning about potential complacency, suggesting that Democrats cannot allow the 2016 election to repeat itself.
Biden — who became the Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee after dominating in a crowded field of candidates — has maintained a relatively low profile since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. The former vice president seems to have decided to stay on the sidelines as Trump struggles to deal with unprecedented national crises.
The strategy appears to have worked, as most polls suggest that Biden is beating Trump nationwide and in key swing states.
According to Democratic strategist Joel Payne, Biden’s approach has been effective because the November election will be a referendum on Trump.
“It’s the ‘do no harm’ strategy. He needs to do no harm and present this as a referendum, a binary choice between himself and Trump and that’s what they’ve done. It’s fine for right now, but they have to be able to make the closing case,” Payne said.
A PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll released on Friday suggested that the 2020 election will indeed be a referendum on Trump. The survey showed that Trump’s disapproval rating has hit a record high, finding that most Americans feel strongly about how they rate the president’s performance in office.
The survey put Biden nine percentage points ahead of Trump nationwide. The Democrat polled strongly among African Americans, 91 percent of whom said they would vote for him, and Latinos, 59 percent of whom said they support him.
In addition, the former vice president finished ahead of Trump among women and college graduates.
Notably, 45 percent of white Americans said they would cast their ballot for Biden if the election was held today, while 51 percent said they would vote for Trump.