Michael Dukakis is warning Joe Biden not to take his current lead in the polls too seriously, citing his own slump in the 1988 presidential race as a precautionary tale.
The presumptive Democratic nominee is currently leading President Trump 50-38, according to a Fox News poll, while data compiled by Real Clear Politics shows the former vice president is ahead by an average of 8.8 percentage points.
But Dukakis, who was in a similar position in the same time period during the 1988 presidential election against Republican opponent George HW Bush, has warned those numbers don’t guarantee a victory in November.
‘Particularly this year, [polls] should be studied cautiously,’ he told Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam.
Former presidential candidate Michael Dukakis (left) has warned that Joe Biden’s current lead in the polls does not necessarily mean success in November
Dukakis, who served as the governor of Massachusetts, had a lead over Republican opponent George HW Bush in July 1988 before his numbers plummeted following a series of public gaffes and bad press
‘Biden can and should win, but being at 50, no matter how weak your opponent is, is no guarantee of success.’
The former Massachusetts governor had been leading Bush by a 55-38 margin in July 1988, only for his numbers to plummet weeks later following a series of bad press, the Globe reported.
Among them was the now-infamous photo of Dukakis wearing a helmet while aboard a military tank that was then used in an ad accusing him of being weak on defense.
A second campaign advertisement which told the story of Massachusetts prisoner Willie Horton, who killed a woman while he was out on furlough, depicted Dukakis as being soft on crime.
His ratings really took a tumble when then-President Ronald Reagan called him an ‘invalid’, questioning the candidate’s mental state – which has also become an issue for both Trump and Biden, as they have been criticized over their mental sharpness.
President Trump is currently trailing behind Biden amid his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and his response to the ongoing nationwide protests
Republican strategist and Trump campaign adviser Karl Rove said the president needed to move in a new direction ahead of the RNC
Dukakis recalled ‘dropping eight points’ in the week the president made the comments.
‘I never took those early polls seriously,’ he told Beam.
Dukakis ultimately lost the presidential election to Bush, who won 426 electoral college votes to his 111.
Before that he served as Massachusetts Governor from 1975 to 1979 and again from 1983 to 1991.
Meanwhile, Trump’s position in the polls has dipped amid his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the nationwide protests.
During an appearance on Fox News on Friday, Republican strategist and Trump campaign adviser Karl Rove said the president needed to move in a new direction before the Republican National Convention.
Source: Daily Mail