One of Joe Biden's top campaign aides warned in a 2019 memo that the presumptive Democratic nominee may not be able to defeat President Donald Trump.
Biden's new states director Jennifer Ridder, who previously served as Montana governor Steve Bullock's presidential campaign manager, told donors in a memo that the former vice president could be "unable to take down Trump."
"Again and again, we hear from Democratic primary voters that the most important quality in a candidate is their ability to beat Trump next November," she wrote in September. "At the same time, there is a growing fear that the candidates promising revolutions are out of step with general election voters while others fear Vice President Biden may be unable to take down Trump."
While polls have consistently shown Biden leading Trump nationally and in swing states, they have also shown voters are skeptical that the Democrat can win. An April YouGov survey found that 57 percent of registered voters believe Trump will be reelected. Biden aides have also acknowledged that Trump enjoys a huge cash advantage and superior digital operation.
Ridder's attempt to reassure Bullock's donors did not work. Bullock never gained traction in the crowded primary race and dropped out in December. He is now challenging Sen. Steve Daines (R., Mont.) despite his pledge not to run for a Senate seat.
Ridder, who also managed Colorado governor Jared Polis's successful run in 2018, will focus on battleground states, according to a Politico report. Biden's campaign is planning to bulk up staffing amid criticism from fellow Democrats that Biden has been invisible during the coronavirus pandemic.