“They said that in 2016 too. All the polls said he had no chance,” said Jay Wetz, a 75-year-old Indiana transplant who cast an early ballot for Trump in Phoenix last week. “That’s what I see again. … He’ll win Arizona. He’s the man, that’s why.”

When recited a set of recent polls showing Trump down 7 to 10 points in Wisconsin, Richard Kucksdorf, a GOP chairman in rural Shawano County, appeared to revel in the doomsday data for his candidate.

“Good for them. Make it 10%. Make it 15%. Who cares what the polls say? I certainly don’t,” Kucksdorf said. “Do I think that’s what’s going to happen on Election Day? No. I believe 25% of Black Americans and 50% of Hispanic Americans are going to vote for Trump. … I think he’s going to win in a landslide.”

An alarmingly visceral and hardened distrust of the media among Republicans has created a parallel political universe around the country: One where a Trump defeat is almost unfathomable, especially when that possibility is perpetuated by sources they have viewed as hostile for the last four years.