DETROIT – Rep. Dan Kildee (D) said he doesn’t think supporters of former Vice President Joe Biden can rely on polls and warned President Trump might try to capitalize on the pandemic in the final days of the campaign.
“I think it’s dangerous to take these polls at face value,” Kildee, who represents Michigan’s fifth district said Friday. “That’s a snapshot of how people feel on a particular day.” Kildee had just finished an event for the Biden campaign and warned fellow supporters.
“What I don’t want is anybody that is associated with the Biden campaign to feel that we should be lulled into complacency,” he said.
Kildee was responding to recent polling from EPIC-MRA which surveyed 600 likely voters at the end of July. 51 percent said they would vote for Biden. 40 percent said they would vote for President Trump. However, the two candidates were much closer together in favorability. Neither reached above 50 percent favorability with Biden leading 46 percent to Trump’s 41 percent. The President’s overall unfavourability was higher at 56 percent compared to Biden’s 46 percent unfavourability.
Kilee said he also wouldn’t be surprised by a last ditch effort from the Trump campaign to win over voters.
“I don’t put it past him to try to have an October surprise of some sort,” he said. “President Trump is the best political day trader that I know he knows how to win a news cycle.’
Kildee said he believes any last minute surprise would likely be related to the coronavirus, which has become the central issue both on the campaign and in the White House. Kildee was not specific about what exactly he thought the President would do related to the coronavirus.
“I am worried that the President might try to do something related to the coronavirus that in the long term might prove not to be wise but in the short term gives him a headline he’s looking for,’ Kildee said.
A spokesperson for the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to questions for comment about the poll.
Kildee’s cautioning over both the polling and potential for late campaign hijinks, have been echoed by other Democrats who have been anxiously watching the polls while fighting reminders of polling problems during the 2016 election.
Last month, Rep. Debbie Dingell (M-12) told listeners on a Michigan Women for Biden virtual event not to believe current polling.
The poll also surveyed voters about the upcoming Senate race between Sen. Gary Peters (D) and John James. According to the poll, Peters is holding a 10 point lead over his Republican challenger, 50 percent to 40 percent.
The poll also looked at the favorability of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D). 57 percent of voters said they generally approve of Whitmer’s job as Governor during the pandemic. Whitmer remains on the short list of potential Vice Presidential candidates to join the Biden ticket. Biden said he plans to announce his running mate in early August.
“Last week Trump Victory knocked on over one million doors nationwide compared to Joe Biden’s zero, and here in Michigan we’ve already made over 4.5 million voter contacts,” Trump Victory Spokesperson Chris Gustafson said in a statement. “Campaigns matter, and with President Trump’s record of promises made, promises kept, Michiganders will once again vote to elect President Trump.”
READ MORE: Michigan Politics