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Photo: Axios

Battleground state polls "matter the most" in this election, Trump's campaign adviser Steve Cortes said during an Axios virtual event on Friday, adding that those numbers illustrate a closer race than the national polls show.

Why it matters: Biden's national lead against Trump has widened to double digits, but the former vice president holds a narrower advantage in states needed for an Electoral College victory, such as Florida and Pennsylvania.

By the numbers: The RealClearPolitics' national polling average shows Biden with a roughly 9-point lead over Trump.

  • The data aggregator's gauge of polls in Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona and North Carolina — all battleground states — has Biden leading the president by around 4 points.

What they're saying: "It's most important, I think, for us to highlight to our supporters, to everybody, that battleground state polls are what matter most," Cortes said. "And when you look at battleground state polls — yes, it does show us down but down by really small margins, certainly margins that we can capture in the next few weeks."

  • "You know, in politics, things can change by the hour, by the day. So, while the clock is ticking, we also have a lot of time to make sure that all those battleground states are indeed in play.
  • "And I think team Biden knows that as well. You know, in reality, they don't believe that they are up double digits nationally. We certainly don't believe that. And again, it's not a national election. It's a state by state election."

The other side: Some members of the Biden campaign aren't celebrating public polling, including Jen O'Malley Dillon, the former VP's campaign manager.

  • "There is still a long way to go in this campaign, and we think this race is far closer than folks on [Twitter] think. Like a lot closer," she tweeted this week.

Of note: Biden's campaign out-raised Trump by $150 million in August and posted a record-breaking $383 million haul for the month of September.

Go deeper: Why the polls could lead us astray again

Watch the News Shapers event here.

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Barbarians at the Oval

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump plunked down in an armchair in the White House residence, still dressed from his golf game — navy fleece, black pants, white MAGA cap. It was Saturday, Nov. 7. The networks had just called the election for Joe Biden.

Off the Rails

The siege

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

On Jan. 6, White House deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger entered the West Wing in the mid-afternoon, shortly after his colleagues' phones had lit up with an emergency curfew alert from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Off the Rails

Descent into madness

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump was sitting in the Oval Office one day in late November when a call came in from lawyer Sidney Powell. "Ugh, Sidney," he told the staff in the room before he picked up. "She's getting a little crazy, isn't she? She's really gotta tone it down. No one believes this stuff. It's just too much."