If you’ve been paying attention to the actual polling averages, you know that at no point during his presidency has Donald Trump ever been in contention for reelection. In fact he’s been losing badly to Joe Biden for as long as Biden has been in the race. But Trump lives in a bubble, which has only recently (and partially) been pierced.
Trump has finally figured out that he’s losing badly, after reportedly having recently gotten a look at his real internal poll numbers for the first time. But because his 2020 campaign advisers have been snowing him all along, he’s still merely under the impression that he was winning at some point, and that he’s only now losing because of the pandemic.
This is a total fiction, but don’t tell that to the ever-delusional Donald Trump. One of his handlers is telling Vanity Fair that Trump’s reaction to his ugly poll numbers is along the lines of “This is so unfair to me! Everything was going great. We were cruising to reelection!” This has all sent Trump into panic mode, where he’s forcing his campaign manager Parscale to accept a number of new underlings whose real job is presumably to undermine what Parscale is doing.
There’s some debate as to whether we’d be better off with Donald Trump remaining under the delusion that he’s winning, which would leave him complacent, or if we’re better off with Trump knowing that he’s losing, because it’ll cause him to panic and further self destruct. In any case, what stands out here is that Trump still thinks his bad poll numbers are merely an artifact of the pandemic, which helps explain why he’s so desperate to pretend it’s over. The key information he’s not working with is that he’s been losing the 2020 race badly the entire time, and his only way to turn it around would be to throw out his entire approach and try to become an entirely different candidate.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report