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Axelrod says he ‘stunned’ by new CNN poll showing Trump leading Biden

Former senior adviser to President Obama David Axelrod said he’s “stunned” President Biden did not perform better in CNN’s Tuesday poll showing former President Trump beating Biden by about four points.

Axelrod, in a discussion panel on CNN on Tuesday, pointed specifically to Biden’s poor performance in the poll when registered voters were asked about “effective leadership.”

Only 36 percent of respondents said they saw Biden as an “effective world leader,” compared to 48 percent who attributed that description to Trump. Voters also were more likely to say Trump had the stamina and sharpness to serve effectively as president, at 53 percent, compared to 25 percent of respondents who said so about Biden. 

“I’m stunned honestly, by the ‘effective leader in the world’ because Joe Biden has shown great leadership. He should be given strength points and they’re not giving them to him,” Axelrod said on CNN.

Axelrod said the best takeaway for Democrats and Biden supporters about the new CNN poll is Trump’s poor favorability. He noted, however, that Biden’s age problem is not going away. 

“I think the best thing probably is that Trump is terribly unpopular and therefore deeply vulnerable himself at the end of the day, but the date that people are looking at is the date on the president and that is reflected in this poll,” Axelrod said, referring to Biden’s age. “And that’s the hard part because it’s a hard thing.”

“You can fight on issues – and I think Democrats have the high ground on issues, and you’re gonna see it perhaps tonight in the results in these elections. We don’t know yet, but it sure feels that way – But how you deal with that, and it becomes a strength issue,” he added.

The new CNN poll conducted by SSRS showed Trump narrowly leading Biden, 49 percent to 45 percent among registered voters in a hypothetical matchup. Biden’s approval remained at 39 percent. 

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