“The normal rules of politics do apply to Donald Trump, after all.
“Four years ago, he became the fifth man to win the presidency while losing the popular vote. Now he becomes the fourth of those five — along with John Quincy Adams, Rutherford Hayes and Benjamin Harrison — to serve only a single term, and to be unpopular during most of it. The exception is George W. Bush, who benefited from being a wartime president.
“In hindsight, the extraordinary nature of the circumstances that propelled Trump in 2016 have become obvious: the unpopularity of his opponent, Hillary Clinton; the help from Russia; the late involvement of James Comey, the then-F.B.I. director who now hosts an ABC talk show; and Trump’s razor-thin victories in several states.
“Without that good fortune this year, Trump still won roughly 90 percent of self-identified Republicans and Republican-leaning voters. Yet it was not nearly enough.
“’Trump said he was going to fix things, and he didn’t,’ said Kevin O’Reilly, 54, of Manchester, N.H., who voted for Barack Obama in 2012, Trump in 2016 and Elizabeth Warren this year. ‘I don’t think he really cares about the middle class. He cares about himself.'” — from David Leonhardt‘s “How Trump Lost Re-election in 2020,” posted in N.Y. Times on 7.29.