President Donald Trump's campaign seems to realize that he will never have the kind of broad popularity needed to secure over 50 percent of the popular vote.
And that's why, as Axios reports, they are planning to hold on to the minority of voters who support the president while working overtime to launch a scorched-Earth campaign against the eventual Democratic nominee.
"[The GOP] is going to make whoever the nominee is radioactive well before they get the nomination," one former Trump campaign aide explained. "That’s Trump’s strategy. Stay at 45-46 percent [in the polls] and just make the other guy radioactive."
Given Trump's own unpopularity, the campaign reasons, the only way to get him back into the White House will be to convince swing voters that the Democratic nominee will pack the Supreme Court, end the Electoral College, and grant reparations to black Americans.
Throughout his first term, Trump has consistently posted lower approval ratings than any of his predecessors. FiveThirtyEight's average of public opinion polls at the moment gives Trump an approval rating of just under 42 percent with a disapproval rating of 53 percent.
The only other president to have comparably low ratings at this point in his presidency was Ronald Reagan, although at the time he was coming out of an economic recession, whereas Trump has enjoyed two years of strong job growth during his first term.