New York Times polling analyst Nate Cohn took stock of the first night of the Republican National Convention and came away confused about whether the GOP accomplished its goals -- or even if accomplishing its goals was possible.
Writing on Twitter, Cohn said that the RNC has "a lot of work to do" to rebuild support ahead of the November election, but he warned that "it's also not always clear what they can do" to accomplish that.
"I'm reminded of the scene in 'Apollo 13,' when the flight director asks after the explosion: 'Let's look at this from the standpoint of status. What do we got on the spacecraft that's good?'" he writes. "At least on the numbers, they don't have many good answers to that question."
Cohn argues that, in order to pull off a successful convention, Trump's GOP would need to have good opposition material to use against Democrats, a "clear vision of your preferred most important issue," and presidential approval ratings in the 47 percent range.
"Heading into this convention, I don't think the Trump campaign had laid the groundwork for this style of reelection campaign," he writes. "They haven't resolved on a clear attack on Biden. They haven't chosen a clear contrast on the most important issue. Their approval isn't at 47."
Cohn then speculates that "the reason they haven't done these things may be because they can't or don't know how."