Top Sanders adviser suggests polling underestimates campaign support

A senior adviser to Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders 'outraged' after MLB threatens to cut ties with minor league teams Booker leads other 2020 Dems in petition urging DNC to change debate qualifications Democrats threaten to skip next debate over labor dispute 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-CortezDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez to hold campaign rallies in Los Angeles, Las Vegas Overwhelming majority say social media companies have too much influence: poll 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 ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegBooker leads other 2020 Dems in petition urging DNC to change debate qualifications Buttigieg rolls out endorsements from South Bend officials Democrats threaten to skip next debate over labor dispute MORE (22 percent), former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenNew York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Graham invites Giuliani to testify about recent Ukraine trip Booker leads other 2020 Dems in petition urging DNC to change debate qualifications MORE (19 percent) and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump executive order aimed at combating anti-Semitism stirs up controversy Booker leads other 2020 Dems in petition urging DNC to change debate qualifications Democrats threaten to skip next debate over labor dispute 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