The Note: Bad polls for Trump worry … Democrats

"Ignore the polls, register to vote" Biden tweeted.

June 25, 2020, 6:01 AM

The TAKE with Rick Klein

President Donald Trump doesn't like -- and says he doesn't believe -- the polls these days.

Neither do Democrats.

Spreadsheets' worth of new polling confirm perceptions that Trump is more vulnerable than ever, in part due to his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. It leaves former Vice President Joe Biden positioned for potential landslide territory, sparking debates over whether Democrats should try to win "reach" states and focus down the ballot.

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks about the Coronavirus and the response to it at the Hotel Du Pont in Wilmington, DE.
Michael Brochstein/Barcroft Media via Getty Images, FILE

The latest entry is a New York Times/Siena poll that has Biden up 14 points nationally over Trump, with Biden winning among both men and women and sweeping across virtually all income and age groups.

The poll's state-level numbers -- out Thursday morning – show Biden dominating across the six most critical battlegrounds. His lead is in the double-digits in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, and between six and nine points in Florida, Arizona and North Carolina.

That comes on top of an Ohio poll out Wednesday that showed a virtual tie in a state that was once thought to be off the map, and a different Wisconsin poll giving Biden an eight-point edge.

Except … well, 2016. And 2020 as well: The perils of overconfidence are taken as lesson one of the last cycle, and as a key point gleaned from the unpredictable politics that have grown out of crises and emerging movements this year.

"We can't be complacent or smug or sense that somehow it's so obvious that this president hasn't done a good job, because look, he won once," former President Barack Obama said in his fundraising livestream with Biden on Tuesday. "Whatever you've done so far is not enough."

Biden himself was more succinct in responding to the Times/Siena numbers.

"Ignore the polls," Biden tweeted. "Register to vote."

Thursday will see both candidates visit battleground states, albeit in their much different ways. Trump will be in Wisconsin, while Biden again goes to Pennsylvania -- easy driving distance from Delaware.

Democrats see Trump and his self-destructive tendencies as one of their biggest gifts these days.

But one of their biggest obstacles may be perceptions around the race. Good polling numbers are better than the alternative, yet saying you won't make the mistakes of last time isn't the same as running the race that's needed to win this time.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

House Democrats unveiled yet another health care plan Wednesday that they say would enhance and expand upon the Affordable Care Act, shore up the Medicaid program and make prescription drugs cheaper.

Though the plan will likely go nowhere in the Senate, the House is voting on the new bill next week and that timing is poignant.

Not only are COVID-19 cases spiking around the country, but the Trump administration is also supporting an effort to dismantle Obamacare at the U.S. Supreme Court. The administration will file a brief Thursday backing a coalition of 20 Republican-led states seeking to invalidate the entire health law.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks at a news conference at the Capitol, June 23, 2020, in Washington, D.C.
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Discussing her caucus' bill, Speaker Nancy Pelosi argued that the court case was "wrong any time" but "beyond stupid" during a pandemic.

A year ago, back in June 2019, Trump told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos that he was going to have a health care plan "over the next month."

On Thursday, Trump participates in a town hall that's billed as being focused on the news of the day and the presidential race, while Biden will hold an event focused on health care, specifically.

The TIP with Kendall Karson

Kentucky's voting may have gone off without major incident -- but that's not enough for the commonwealth's elections chief.

Secretary of State Michael Adams, a Republican, called the election a "success" before unleashing on the "cynics" -- the scores of celebrities, athletes and national leaders -- who he says, "aggressively pushed a false, culturally bigoted narrative that paints Kentucky as a racist backwater that suppresses the votes of African Americans."

Voters line up as polls open on the day of the primary election in Louisville, Ky., June 23, 2020.
Bryan Woolston/Reuters

In the hours leading into Tuesday's voting, the dramatically scaled down in-person voting operation, which included only one polling place in each of the state's 120 counties, was criticized as voter suppression. Adams' case against suppression is that the decision was part of a bipartisan effort to shift the primary to predominantly vote by mail during the coronavirus, and ultimately, turnout is expected to be high -- recording-breaking high.

Adams is demanding redress, but only from one of the critics: Hillary Clinton, a usual target of the right who was neither the first nor the only figure to pan the decision to cut polling sites by 95%. Still, Adams is now calling on the 2016 Democratic nominee to apologize to Kentuckians and the elections officials, arguing that "this sort of misinformation is a direct threat to Kentucky's elections" and she "knows better."


ABC News' "Start Here" podcast. Thursday morning's episode features ABC News Chief National Affairs Correspondent Tom Llamas, who joins us from Houston, where COVID-19 cases are on the rise. Then, ABC News Legal Analyst Kate Shaw unpacks developments in the cases of Roger Stone and Michael Flynn and explains what it means for the Department of Justice moving forward. And, Elizabeth Chamblee Burch from the University of Georgia Law School explains why the makers of Roundup agreed to a $10 billion settlement.

ABC News' "Powerhouse Politics" podcast. As results come in from the high-stakes Kentucky senate primary, ABC News Senior Congressional Correspondent Mary Bruce tells the "Powerhouse Politics" podcast co-hosts, ABC News Political Director Rick Klein and Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl that the race between the two Democratic contenders, Amy McGrath and Charles Booker was not expected to be close just a month ago. Bruce discusses the tight race to unseat Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and how the push for racial equality brought more attention to the underdog.


  • Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., appears on ABC's "The View."
  • The Supreme Court releases opinions beginning at 10 a.m.
  • Dr. Jill Biden participates in a virtual discussion on the Affordable Care Act with Congressman Charlie Crist in Florida at 2 p.m.
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden meets with families who benefit from the Affordable Care Act in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He will then deliver remarks and share his health plan at 2:45 p.m.
  • President Donald Trump participates in a Fox News Town Hall at 2:30 p.m., then tours a shipyard in Wisconsin where he'll deliver remarks at 5 p.m.
  • Download the ABC News app and select "The Note" as an item of interest to receive the day's sharpest political analysis.

    The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back Monday for the latest.

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