The Trumpublican National Convention

When the prime-time program started, Mr. Trump was there, too. In two segments, he moderated group conversations, including one with “front-line” workers, where he name-checked the “China virus” and made a joke about hydroxychloroquine. Several montages showed the president shaking hands, flashing thumbs-up, signing documents, laying wreaths, and so forth. Mr. Trump reportedly will be playing some kind of role in every nightly TV broadcast this week.

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It’s a curious strategy, given the polling. In 2016, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were the two most intensely disliked presidential nominees in Gallup’s historical data, which goes back to the 1950s. Four years on, Mr. Trump’s net approval has improved somewhat—to minus 15, or 42% favorable to 57% unfavorable. Joe Biden, by comparison, is about even, 47% favorable to 48% unfavorable. Among independent voters, Mr. Biden is 11 points underwater, but Mr. Trump is 20 points in the drink.

Monday’s lineup included speakers who could theoretically reach waffling voters. “I am living my mother’s American dream,” said Sen. Tim Scott. He talked about opportunity zones, school choice and “the evolution of the Southern heart.” His grandfather, Mr. Scott explained, was “forced out of school as a third-grader to pick cotton” but lived to see his grandson sitting in the U.S. Senate.

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