Barack Obama’s campaign manager says Joe Biden is doing better than his former boss was in the 2012 election.
David Plouffe, who helped engineer Obama’s historic victory in 2008, said of Biden’s poll lead: “It’s real.”
President Obama swept to victory on a wave of support in 2008 – and held on to the White House for a second term four years later.
Speaking on new episode of the Hell & High Water with John Heilemann podcast, to be released today, Plouffe said: “Did you guys know Biden’s in a better place right now than we were in ’12?
“And in many states, even than we were in ’08. It’s real.”
Also appearing on the programme are David Axelrod, President Obama’s chief campaign strategist, and Alyssa Mastromonaco, White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations from 2011-2014.
Plouffe added: “And every time I talked to our former Republican opponents… their message is basically, “You have PTSD. Trump’s going down. He’s going down big.”
“Now, I find them to be a little overly optimistic, but it would take an inside straight.
“That’s what Trump pulled last time. But what’s different here is you got Florida, you’ve got Arizona, you got North Carolina. You may even have Georgia and Texas.”
Axelrod said he was concerned the Covid-19 spike might impact on turnout at the polls.
He said: “I worry a little bit about this coronavirus spike. It should impact Republicans more than Democrats because more Republicans are planning to vote on election day at the poll and made to be discouraged.
“But they’re also crazy, these Trump supporters, and they may disregard that and just go and vote.
“Whereas there may be some Democrats who were planning to vote on election day who don’t feel comfortable voting.”
Mastromonaco said she had seen Trump supporters changing their affiliation over the President’s response to Covid.
She said: “And the guys there, hardcore Trumpers, all of them got COVID. All of them are voting for Joe Biden.”
Plouffe went on to suggest Trump’s error in the 2020 campaign was that he was still campaigning as if he were up against Hillary Clinton.
One of the things I thought we did well in ’12 was we understood that, that race was different than ’08,” he said.
“As you know, everybody’s like, “Hey, this isn’t so hope-y and change-y.” It’s like, “Yeah, man, this is a f*****g knife fight in a phone booth and it’s going to be close.”
“And so Trump wants to recreate, but Biden’s not Clinton.”
Hell & High Water is a Recount Media podcast co-produced with iHeartMedia. John Heilemann’s interview with the ‘Obama brain trust’ is released today.