Top Sanders adviser suggests polling underestimates campaign support

A senior adviser to Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDrugmaker caps insulin costs at to help diabetes patients during pandemic The Hill's Campaign Report: Wisconsin votes despite coronavirus pandemic Sen. Brown endorses Biden for president MORE’s (I) 2020 presidential campaign suggested Wednesday that recent polling, particularly in key battleground states like Iowa, underestimate support for the Vermont senator’s White House bid.

“Pollsters are guessing. And the point is, 'Are they guessing right?' And they’re guessing who’s going to show up in a Democratic primary,” Chuck Rocha told Hill.TV. “That’s easier in South Carolina and New Hampshire because there’s a lot of historical data.”

“When you talk about a microcosm of the electorate, which is Nevada, which is Iowa, it’s hard to get it right,” he added.

Rocha also argued that the Sanders campaign is not focused on polling.

“If you take the establishment in every state ... who always votes in a Democratic primary, we’re doing okay — we’re in the top three with everybody else,” he said. “When you add infrequent voters and new registered voters into any poll, guess who skyrockets to the top? We do.”

Rocha’s comments come after Sanders spent the weekend campaigning in Iowa.

The Vermont senator held rallies in the state alongside Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezWhat the coronavirus reveals about the race grievance industry Democrats struggle to keep up with Trump messaging on coronavirus Overnight Health Care: Global coronavirus cases top 1M | Cities across country in danger of becoming new hotspots | Trump to recommend certain Americans wear masks | Record 6.6M file jobless claims MORE (D-N.Y.), a first-term progressive lawmaker who rose to prominence as part of a group known as “The Squad.”

Monmouth University poll released on Tuesday showed Sanders with 13 percent support in Iowa. He trailed  South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegButtigieg launches new PAC to aid down-ballot candidates HuffPost political reporter on why Bernie fell way behind Biden Economists fear slow pace of testing will prolong recession MORE (22 percent), former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump shakes up WH communications team The Hill's Campaign Report: Wisconsin votes despite coronavirus pandemic The Intercept's Ryan Grim says Cuomo is winning over critics MORE (19 percent) and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHillicon Valley: Schiff presses intel chief on staff changes | Warren offers plan to secure elections | Twitter's Jack Dorsey to donate B to coronavirus fight | WhatsApp takes steps to counter virus misinformation Warren releases plan to secure elections during coronavirus pandemic On The Money: Trump officials struggle to get relief loans out the door | Dow soars more than 1600 points | Kudlow says officials 'looking at' offering coronavirus bonds MORE (D-Mass.) (18 percent) among likely Democratic caucusgoers.  

Nationally, Sanders places third in the Democratic field with 17.8 percent support, behind Biden with 27 percent and Warren with 20.8 percent, according to a RealClearPolitics Average of polls.

—Tess Bonn