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Donald Trump, the man, lost at the Supreme Court today. But Donald Trump, the candidate, can claim victory.

As part of the fallout from the new rulings, “the president may eventually face legal liability,” David Frum argues, “but he will not face a public reckoning for his actions before November.”

Or, as another staff writer, David A. Graham, put it: Trump’s strategy of running out the clock is paying off.

Said clock continues to tick. We’re just a few months away from the general election. Let’s check in on Team Trump’s 2020 campaign strategy—with three observations from our writers:

1. Trump continues to exploit racial grievances. It may cost him.

“He captured the White House with a campaign based on racial backlash,” Graham writes, “and now, after nearly four years of racist remarks and appeals, backlash to the backlash may doom his campaign.”

2. He’s making a bad bet on a dwindling population of voters.

“The Americans he is targeting with his messages of racial resentment and cultural backlash are uniformly a smaller share of American society now than they were [in 1968],” our polling expert Ronald Brownstein notes.

3. Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence is attempting to save them both.

Their fates are intertwined. Or, as one anonymous former official told our White House correspondent Peter Nicholas: “You get the Trump stink on you, it’s hard to get it off.”

THE ATLANTIC

One question, answered: COVID-19 cases are rising. So why are deaths flatlining?

Derek Thompson talks through five possible explanations for the gap. First is this: People die after getting sick. A lag, therefore, makes sense.

“The death lag is probably the most important thing to understand in evaluating the case-death gap,” he writes. “But it doesn’t explain everything.”

Explore four more explanations.

What to read if … you want practical tips:

What to read if … you’re looking for a break from the news:

Read our science reporter Sarah Zhang’s dispatch on the birdsong that took over North America.


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