From The Hill
Nervous Senate Democrats raised concerns with Hillary Clinton during a private meeting in the Capitol Thursday over a recent poll showing Donald Trump leading or tied in several battleground states.
“Some people were freaked out, they were looking down at the polls on Real Clear Politics and asking why it was so close,” said a Democratic senator who attended the meeting, referring to a website lawmakers were checking out on their personal devices.
“She said there are other issues. People are unhappy and they don’t trust institutions,” the senator explained.
A second Democratic source in the meeting confirmed there was “a mention of the Florida poll.”
A Quinnipiac University poll released this week showed the presumptive GOP presidential nominee up 42 percent to 39 percent in swing-state Florida. Clinton had an 8-point lead in Quinnipiac’s poll of the state last month.
The same survey showed Trump ahead 2 points in Pennsylvania, another big swing state, and tied in Ohio. The three states have been pivotal in the last four presidential elections.
The source emphasized that no one suggested that Clinton wasn’t running a strong race or questioned her performance.
Instead, it was an acknowledgement that the presidential race will be very close even though many Washington-based strategists and pundits across the ideological spectrum question Trump’s seriousness as a candidate.
“There was concern raised about the race because we know it’s going to be a close race,” said the source.
A senior Senate Democratic aide, who was not in the meeting, acknowledged that senators have raised concerns about the closeness of the polls at other times.
“We wouldn’t be Democrats if there weren’t a few bed-wetters,” the aide said.
But the aide said Democratic lawmakers have felt reassured that when the margin between Clinton and Trump narrows, it’s because Clinton’s numbers dip, not because Trump’s climb.
Clinton suffered a public relations blow earlier this month when FBI Director James Comey issued a statement criticizing Clinton for being “extremely careless” in handling classified material over a private email server when she was secretary of State.
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