Former President Trump remains just about as brazenly incompetent as ever, as revealed by a speech that he delivered over the weekend at a political conference. During his remarks, Trump claimed that he was singlehandedly responsible for the re-election of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), although McConnell has been in office for decades at this point, representing a state — Kentucky — that hasn’t been won by a Democratic presidential nominee in over two decades. On Sunday, the anti-Trump conservative group known as The Lincoln Project released a video mocking the Trump-McConnell rift.
Captioning the video “With friends like these…”, the clip contains some footage of Trump’s remarks about McConnell from the weekend conservative conference where he spoke. Trump said that McConnell “was losing his election” before the then-president endorsed the then-Senate Majority Leader, also insisting that he “endorsed [McConnell], and he went up 20 points — 20!” Alongside footage of Trump’s remarks — which also included direct jabs at McConnell — The Lincoln Project included a free-wheeling soundtrack, underscoring the absurdity of the situation. How are Republicans going to get ahead while one of their key leaders remains just about pathologically obsessed with this level of infighting?
Watch the new Lincoln Project video below:
With friends like these… pic.twitter.com/wXdyZelS2Y
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) July 25, 2021
Trump has clearly failed to grasp how polling — which is where he got those numbers — works. It’s not some kind of gospel truth — it’s just an educated estimate of where people’s loyalties lie, and within polling, so-called outliers that show results contrary to the norm are plenty possible. FiveThirtyEight shows a poll from June of last year that had McConnell’s Democratic challenger Amy McGrath up by 1 percent, while later surveys show McConnell leading by double digits, even hitting 22 percent in a July poll. In between those surveys, there’s another set of data cataloged showing McConnell up by just 4 percent.
That’s the way polling works — it’s imprecise, and it can swing, sometimes dramatically. It doesn’t reveal some kind of political magic on Trump’s part. Trump sounds like he doesn’t even care about trying to align his remarks with these basic facts — if it suits him, he says it, and if it doesn’t, then well, he doesn’t. Meanwhile, McConnell ended up winning by some 19.6 percent.