Democrats are getting a sinking feeling when it comes to Donald Trump: They can see him winning again.
A New York jury in a civil trial on Tuesday found the former president liable for sexual assault and defamation, but a number of Democrats say their party is underestimating Trump, who despite a series of scandals is the frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination.
“There is a concern from a lot of people like me, for sure,” said one prominent Democratic strategist. “There’s a disconnect between the consultant class of our party and the voters. They think they can just run a bunch of ads talking about how crazy Donald Trump is [and] that will be enough. That’s just not the case.”
Another strategist warned others in his party: “Be very f—ing worried.”
For a part of the party, it seems unfathomable that Trump could regain the office he left in 2021 — just weeks after a mob of his supporters forced the evacuation of Congress and interfered with the certification of the election.
Trump now faces a string of lawsuits and controversies, yet some polls show him beating President Biden in a one-on-one matchup.
An ABC News/Washington Post poll this week found Trump leading Biden by 6 points, 45 percent to 39 percent, but Democratic operatives and even some Republicans have criticized the survey as an outlier, with many saying privately and publicly that the data appears inconsistent.
Yet the ABC/Post poll isn’t the only one showing Trump with an edge.
A Harvard-Harris poll from late last month placed Trump ahead of Biden by 5 points, while another by the Wall Street Journal gave Biden a smaller 3-percent lead.
Last week, Democrats got another glimpse into the state of play: Trump and Biden in a dead heat. An Economist/YouGov poll put them each at 46 percent.
Polls also show a lack of passion in Biden’s reelection effort, with many saying they’d prefer a different Democratic candidate.
By Hanna Trudo and Amie Parnes