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Biden Campaign Warns Supporters: 'Donald Trump Can Still Win This Race'

Joe Biden's campaign is urging its supporters not to become complacent in the final weeks of the presidential race, even as polling suggests the former vice president remains ahead of President Trump in several key swing states.

"The very searing truth is that Donald Trump can still win this race, and every indication we have shows that this thing is going to come down to the wire," Biden campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon wrote in a memo to supporters on Saturday.

"The reality is that this race is far closer than some of the punditry we're seeing on Twitter and on TV would suggest," O'Malley Dillon wrote. "In the key battleground states where this election will be decided, we remain neck and neck with Donald Trump."

Campaigns often have motivation to keep backers invested in the race. But in fact it is polling — in addition to some punditry — that finds Biden leading.

In the latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, published Thursday, Biden leads Trump 54% to 43% nationally among likely voters.

And the Democratic nominee is ahead by several percentage points in critical states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, according to Real Clear Politics polling averages — with smaller margins in places like Florida and North Carolina.

Biden campaigned in Durham, N.C., on Sunday, urging supporters gathered at a drive-in event to vote and noting that the state's early voting period began Thursday.

President Trump attends services at the International Church of Las Vegas on Sunday.
Mandel Ngan / AFP via Getty Images
AFP via Getty Images
President Trump attends services at the International Church of Las Vegas on Sunday.

Trump, meanwhile, has had a busy weekend of campaigning. He made stops in Michigan and Wisconsin Saturday, before heading west. He visited a church in Las Vegas Sunday morning, and then holds a rally in Carson City, Nev., on Sunday evening. On Monday he heads to Arizona.

In her memo, O'Malley Dillon referenced 2016, when Trump won the Electoral College (despite losing the popular vote), though polls had Hillary Clinton as the favorite.

"If we learned anything from 2016, it's that we cannot underestimate Donald Trump or his ability to claw his way back into contention in the final days of a campaign," she wrote.

She noted a recent injection of millions of dollars to pro-Trump super PACs, saying they could "very easily erase our financial advantage with the stroke of a pen."

She was likely referring to the $75 million cash infusion to Preserve America PAC by casino magnate and billionaire Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam.

Although Trump began his reelection campaign with a big financial advantage, Biden and his allies have raked in record-breaking hauls each month since the summer.

Last week, Biden's campaign announced that along with allied Democratic groups it raised $383 million in September alone.

His campaign says it currently has $432 million on hand and has been outspending Trump by $240 million on TV ads in six key states.

In the memo, O'Malley Dillon said the campaign is projecting to raise another $234 million before Nov. 3.

She wrote that the campaign is investing over $100 million in on-the-ground organizing, with nearly 3,500 staff in key states.

The Biden operation had eschewed in-person canvasing for months, due to concerns about the pandemic, before reversing its decision early this month.

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Barbara Sprunt is a producer on NPR's Washington desk, where she reports and produces breaking news and feature political content. She formerly produced the NPR Politics Podcast and got her start in radio at as an intern on NPR's Weekend All Things Considered and Tell Me More with Michel Martin. She is an alumnus of the Paul Miller Reporting Fellowship at the National Press Foundation. She is a graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., and a Pennsylvania native.