VESTAVIA HILLS — Pollster and political analyst Scott Rasmussen spoke Thursday night at the Alabama Policy Institute (API) dinner in Vestavia Hills, warning the audience of conservative state leaders that anything can happen between now and the November 2024 election.

“Donald Trump is the most likely nominee,” Rasmussen explained. “He is not nearly as inevitable as people say he is.”

Rasmussen is editor-at-large for Ballotpedia, host of the podcast “Just the Polls,” and a New York Times bestselling author. He also helped found ESPN with his father Bill in the late 1970s. 

“We’re just too early,” he said. “After Thanksgiving, the polls are going to shape up. President Trump is low forties … He’s got a solid base but a very low ceiling. The next three people on that poll, Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley and Tim Scott, are combined at 39%. We know that people supporting a candidate at the bottom gradually move toward one of the leaders.”

“[Trump’s] campaign is out today saying they’re going to whip out the field and win by 50%,” Rasmussen continued. “They go in with an expectation of blowing everyone out of the water … whoever came in second now holds a chance.”

Rasmussen also advised the crowd to be weary of polls and prudent with the language they use so as not to alienate everyday voters who may share fundamental conservative values but don’t use the same words to describe them.

“We as a conservative movement have a grand opportunity before us,” he said. “The American people still value freedom, equality and self-government. For most of my life, most of us in this room would’ve identified with the side of freedom. The political left has always been arguing for equality, but radical progressives are abandoning equality. They are going for equity … Only 15% of Americans agree with that. We have a chance to seize the mantle for freedom and equality. The way we do that is to promote a positive agenda about what that looks like.”

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