“The false projection of Joe Biden as the winner is based on results in four states that are far from final,” Matt Morgan said. “Biden is relying on these states for his phony claim on the White House, but once the election is final, President Trump will be reelected.”
Some Republicans, who belie their party’s name by putting partisan allegiance over loyalty to the republic, have rallied around Trump, including Senator Lindsey Graham, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Senator Ted Cruz, though other Republicans have condemned Trump. This could change over the coming days: Maybe as the stench of loss grows, the GOP will split from Trump, though many times over the past five years, we’ve seen Republicans express their initial revulsion at a Trump statement and then quietly get in line.
Trump and his allies can cause a ruckus, and they can inflict damage to Americans’ faith in institutions on their way out, but the many lawsuits the campaign is filing will just pile up more losses. Trump must know it, too, as his tone during Thursday’s remarks showed. The president seemed exhausted and deflated, reading flatly from prepared remarks and then slumping away from the lectern without taking questions. The thin bravado of Wednesday had dissolved entirely.
He is a loser because, ultimately, he is just not that good at politics. An air of invincibility gathered around Trump as he plowed through the 2016 Republican field, reputed to be one of the strongest ever, and then came from behind to beat the heavy favorite, Hillary Clinton, in the general election. But there were warning signs all along. Trump barely managed to close out the primary, and he nearly had to fight for the nomination at the Republican National Convention. He beat Clinton handily in the Electoral College but trailed her by nearly 3 million votes in the popular vote. In many places, he ran behind Republican candidates for House and Senate.
Trump never stopped talking about that election. He kept holding the rallies he loves so much, traveling to his first less than a month after his inauguration. He kept talking about 2016, even after his party was whipped in the midterms. Even in the closing weeks of the 2020 campaign, he and his allies were talking about Clinton’s emails, reliving past glories. He didn’t recognize that most of the country had moved on.
The president had strong fundamentals on his side, despite the coronavirus pandemic. Most incumbent presidents win reelection, and voters rated the economy well, despite the damage wrought by a disastrous mishandling of the pandemic. But he made many easily avoidable mistakes. In the final days of the campaign, Republicans cringed as he ranted about Fox News polls instead of boasting about the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, a fitting close for an easily distracted campaigner. According to The New York Times, he limited trips to Arizona because he didn’t like spending nights away from his own bed; the state appears to be among those that flipped from supporting him in 2016 to Biden in 2020, though the margin there remains very close.