It's slowly dawning on Trump that he's losing

The president is still fighting the last war, trying to rerun the 2016 campaign in a new environment. Trump clearly has never really moved on from the previous race, tweeting about it as recently as this morning. No campaign rally is complete without a lengthy soliloquy on the 2016 race, and Trump never stopped holding campaign rallies, even in the first months of his term in office. As recently as this January, a (misleading) map of the 2016 election results has been spotted on the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office. He also continues to claim that the election was a landslide, rather than a loss in the popular vote—which he sometimes explains away with bogus claims of fraud…

First, Trump’s projection of strength was always flimsy; although Trump entered the election as a slight favorite, the race was always likely to be tight. Second, Biden was never quite so weak as Trump claims here, and probably stronger than Hillary Clinton (despite manifest flaws). Third, Biden’s invisibility looks like an asset; the Democrat is, by choice or necessity, letting Trump run against himself, to great effect. Finally, this account ignores the central political fact of the moment, which is that tens of thousands of Americans have died in a pandemic that polls show voters believe Trump has botched.

Trump was lucky in his opponent in 2016. Though the media generally treated her as a prohibitive front-runner in 2016, Clinton had several flaws that were apparent at the time. She was widely disliked, had already run an ineffective campaign for president once, and faced the additional burden of widespread sexism.