[A]s he sees it, the path to re-election lies with the instincts that brought him to power in the first place. With enough racist demagogy, Trump seems to think, he’ll close the gap with Biden and eke out another win in the Electoral College. But it is one thing to run a backlash campaign, as Trump did four years ago, in a growing economy in which most people aren’t acutely worried about their lives and futures. In that environment, where material needs are mostly met, voters can afford to either look past racial animus or embrace it as a kind of luxury political good. When conditions are on the decline, however, they want actual solutions, and the politics of resentment are, by themselves, a much harder sell.
As I feel like I've been saying for 4 years now, Donald Trump has been surfing the wave of momentum built by his predecessor (much like his professional career, which is worth noting again that he has never ended as President).