We’re used to watching Donald Trump going on offense. In announcing that he will run for president once more, though, Trump sounded unusually defensive. Last week’s midterm elections, he suggested, had gone well for Republicans, giving them control of the House, and would have gone even better if only the American public fully understood how dire the country’s condition is.

For the first time in years, Trump is running against prevailing Republican emotions. Most Republicans are upset about the election results, which include the loss of governorships and possibly a Senate seat. The leading explanation for the Republican disappointments is that they’re Trump’s fault: He picked “low quality” candidates in crucial races. Widespread acceptance of that idea has led a lot of Republicans, even ones who backed him strongly in the past, to say or signal that the party should find a new leader.

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