President Obama remarked "anything is possible" in an interview airing Wednesday when asked whether Donald Trump could win the presidency in 2016, suggesting he was not fully confident Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton could dispatch the Republican billionaire.
In an interview on NBC's Today previewing his primetime remarks Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention, Obama encouraged Democrats to "stay worried." Polls show a tight race between Clinton and Trump, who are the two least popular major party nominees in the country's history.
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"Is it possible that Donald Trump wins the presidency?" host Savannah Guthrie asked.
"Anything is possible," Obama said. "It is the nature of democracy that until those votes are cast and the American people have their say, we don't know."
"Are you worried?" Guthrie asked.
"You know, as somebody who has now been in elected office at various levels for about 20 years, I've seen all kinds of crazy stuff happen," Obama said. "I think anybody who goes into campaigns not running scared can end up losing, so my advice to Democrats—I don't have to give this advice to Hillary Clinton because she already knows it—is you stay worried until all those votes are cast and counted, because one of the dangers in an election like this is that people don't take the challenge seriously. They stay home, and we end up getting the unexpected."
Obama is invested in the 2016 election mainly out of concern for his own legacy. Clinton, who Obama endorsed last month after she clinched the nomination, is running effectively as a third term of his White House, while a Trump administration could scale back or repeal his cherished liberal accomplishments.