David Rohde, a professor of political science at Duke University, said the most plausible explanation of Trump’s decision to take on McConnell this week is an effort to play directly to his base. “For all the talk about fake polls, Trump and his collaborators must realize that their political support is deteriorating and that the possibility of a real political catastrophe 15 months from now is increasing,” he said in an email message.
Rohde went on to say this tactic by Trump might be the best of a bad set of options. “If they can maintain the base support, then Trump’s political fate will hinge on the hope of another asymmetric midterm turnout tilted in their favor,” he said. He added that he doubts this will be successful in any case.