Top Sanders adviser suggests polling underestimates campaign support

A senior adviser to Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersClub for Growth to launch ad blitz in Georgia to juice GOP turnout Inequality of student loan debt underscores possible Biden policy shift In defense of incrementalism: A call for radical realism 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-CortezClub for Growth to launch ad blitz in Georgia to juice GOP turnout Trump will soon be out of office — but polarization isn't going anywhere Trump tweets Thanksgiving criticism of NFL QBs for kneeling 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 Buttigieg'Biff is president': Michael J. Fox says Trump has played on 'every worst instinct in mankind' Buttigieg: Denying Biden intelligence briefings is about protecting Trump's 'ego' Biden's win is not a policy mandate — he should govern accordingly MORE (22 percent), former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenPennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification Biden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Biden transition adds new members to coronavirus task force MORE (19 percent) and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenInequality of student loan debt underscores possible Biden policy shift Thomas Piketty says pandemic is opportunity to address income inequality The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation 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