Bole is not alone. Democrats went to the polls last time certain they would elect the first woman ever to become president, and were punched in the face with a Trump upset. This time they feel the punch coming from a thousand miles away. The worry is visceral and widespread, unassuaged by Biden’s lead in the polls.
“Because of what happened to us in 2016, folks still remain cautious,” said Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes. “Nobody is taking anything for granted, even the folks that we’re meeting at doors and talking to on the phones.”
With the benefit of hindsight, even the most partisan tacticians caution that the election result remains unknown. Polling, which has consistently shown Biden well ahead and en route to winning in the electoral college, is but a snapshot, with a built-in margin of error that can go either way or not at all. Voting may have begun, but there are still weeks to go, and voters have changed their minds before.
“I don’t know anyone in my Democratic pollster world who is sitting 100 percent comfortably or anything like that,” said Nick Gourevitch, a partner at Global Strategy Group who has been polling on the presidential race. “Biden seems in better shape, but it is still a polarized country and a Trump win is still within the realm of possibility.”