There are two types of numbers in the world of President Trump: numbers that prove how good he is as president and numbers that don’t exist.
During the campaign, this took the form of polling. During the Republican primary, Trump would often bring the latest poll numbers with him to rallies and regale audiences with lengthy articulations of what percentage he had, what percentage Jeb Bush had and so on down the line. It was clear that he enjoyed the validation those polls offered. A candidate insistent on his own excellence could point to polls and, in the style of Sally Field, see that America (or Republicans, at least) really liked him.
Had Trump only had to run against Bush for the rest of his career, we’d be hearing about poll numbers still. But winning the Republican nomination meant running against Hillary Clinton, whose poll numbers were consistently better…
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