Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Recent polls have been brutal for President Trump. He trails Joe Biden by almost 10 points nationally and is behind in nearly every battleground state. His support among independents has fallen amid his handling of the recent protests. And women currently favor Biden over Trump by a margin bigger than in any presidential contest in modern history.

Yes, but: It's only June, and Trump's advisers point to several reasons for hope. Voters still trust him more than Biden to handle the economy. Biden has weaker support than Hillary Clinton did among Hispanic voters. And, as CNN's Harry Enten writes, Trump's supporters "are much more enthusiastic about voting for their candidate than Biden's supporters are voting for theirs."

Trump wants to run as the candidate of "law and order." But one reason Trump 2020 is not analogous to Richard Nixon's 1968 campaign — based on the same theme — is that Nixon wasn't president while he exploited fear of violence in American cities during that volatile year. Nixon was campaigning against a chaos for which voters could not conceivably hold him responsible.

  • Trump, however, leads a nation roiled by protests and bursts of looting and violence. Trump's aides say he needs to paint a picture of what a Biden presidency would look like. So, naturally, he grabs onto what he considers the most unappealing excesses of the left and tries to brand Biden with these images.
  • That's why Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller calls the Seattle Autonomous Zone a "Biden Zone." The message: "This is what all of our cities will look like if Joe Biden gets elected."

Trump is already road-testing a tactic that advisers plan to use on nearly every issue that arises between now and November. When Biden hits him on an issue, Trump has a go-to rejoinder: What did Biden do to fix that problem during his 36 years in the Senate and his eight years as vice president?

  • The message they're trying to convey to voters: You can't be a change candidate when you've been part of a failed Washington establishment for more than 40 years.

The Biden campaign's response: "As he exacerbates crisis after crisis, Trump has stepped on his own message so much that he no longer even has one," said Andrew Bates, Biden's director of rapid response.

  • "Any politician who tear-gasses Americans peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights for a cynical photo-op, who defiles the Department of Justice by treating it as an extension of his re-election campaign, and who has leached untold millions off of taxpayers into his own pocket while still refusing to show them his own tax returns has no business saying that he stands for either 'law' or 'order.'"

Go deeper

The 2020 voter registration race

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The Trump campaign and RNC have now registered 100,000 new voters in the 2020 cycle, more than doubling their numbers from 2016, according to new Trump Victory data provided exclusively to Axios.

Yes, but: Democrats are still registering new voters in key battleground states.

Trump stokes fears of election-night mail voting fraud

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

President Trump raised new alarms about the alleged danger of election fraud in an interview with "Axios on HBO," warning that "lots of things can happen" with voting by mail if the presidential race isn't decided on election night.

Why it matters: Trump's comments — which contradict the lengthy history and widespread use of mail-in voting — could be a preview of the claims he'll make on election night to undermine trust in the results if he appears to be losing.

Biden confidants see VP choices narrowing to Harris and Rice

Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images; Win McNamee/Getty Images

Confidants of Joe Biden believe his choices for vice president have narrowed to Sen. Kamala Harris and Susan Rice — and would be surprised if he picks anyone else.

The state of play: This is a snapshot of the nearly unanimous read that we get from more than a dozen people close to him.