Screenshot from CNN

No president in our lifetime has enjoyed a more mesmerizing, seemingly unbendable hold on his political base than Donald Trump. He shifts their views on big topics like the FBI or Vladimir Putin and retains their support regardless of what he says or does.

Why it matters: This connection is turning fast into a liability for Trump and the entire GOP because the president and his mostly white, mostly male base are on the opposite side of most Americans on the epic topics of our day — wearing masks, combating the coronavirus, and condemning racial inequality and police brutality.

  • They are now basically egging each other on. 

President Trump this morning retweeted (then deleted) a video of a man in a golf cart with a "TRUMP 2020" sign who yelled "white power!" at Trump critics.

  • Trump added the note: "Thank you to the great people of The Villages," a retirement community in Florida. "The Radical Left Do Nothing Democrats will Fall in the Fall."
  • White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere told reporters: "President Trump is a big fan of The Villages. He did not hear the one statement made on the video. What he did see was tremendous enthusiasm from his many supporters."
  • The White House did not respond when asked whether Trump condemned the supporter’s comment.

When the tweet was still up, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), the only Black Republican senator, told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union":

  • "[Y]ou can't play it because it was so profanity laced. The entire thing was offensive. ... I think it's indefensible."

The context: Advisers both inside and outside the White House have urged the president to tone down his violent rhetoric, which many worry could escalate racial tensions and hurt him politically, Jonathan Swan reported.

The big picture: Top Republicans have told us for five years that Trump’s base will ultimately cost the party power.

  • The nation is growing too diverse and too progressive.
  • These Republicans warned that tough-guy, noninclusive action and talk would backfire — first with minorities, then with educated white people.

The polls suggest strongly this is unfolding in real time.

  • In addition to the N.Y. Times polls above, which showed Joe Biden with strong leads in the six top battlegrounds (subscription), the Fox News poll this week showed Biden up 9 points in Florida, and tossups in Georgia and Texas — Republican strongholds — and North Carolina.

Between the lines: N.Y. Times columnist Ross Douthat writes (subscription): "[W]hat was likely to be a slow-motion leftward shift, as the less-married, less-religious, more ethnically diverse younger generation gained more power, is being accelerated nationally by the catastrophes of the Trump administration, which is putting states in play for Democrats five or 10 years early."

The response: Tim Murtaugh, Trump campaign communications director, told me:

  • "This election, like all elections, will be a choice. In this case, a choice of President Trump’s record of building the best economy anyone has ever seen with the experience to do it again, versus Joe Biden’s record. ... With four months to go before the election, Americans will understand these differences. ... They won’t want to take a chance on Joe Biden."

Go deeper

Biden campaign to zero in on COVID inflection points in coming week

Biden met with families who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act and made remarks on his plan for affordable health care, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, June 25. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

The Biden campaign plans to focus its messages this week on "the difference between what Joe Biden called for and what Donald Trump did at crucial inflection points" since the pandemic arrived in America, according to a Biden adviser.

What we're hearing: Expect the Biden campaign to use footage of Trump golfing, holding rallies, complaining about being mistreated by the media and saying he wanted testing slowed down.

Updated 40 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Mary Trump book: How she leaked Trump financials to NYT

Simon & Schuster

In her new memoir, President Trump's niece reveals how she leaked hordes of confidential Trump family financial documents to the New York Times in an effort to expose her uncle, whom she portrays as a dangerous sociopath.

Why it matters: Trump was furious when he found out recently that Mary Trump, a trained psychologist, would be publishing a tell-all memoir. And Trump's younger brother, Robert, tried and failed to block the publication of "Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man."

Updated 51 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 p.m. ET: 11,691,068 — Total deaths: 540,062 — Total recoveries — 6,349,542Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3:30 p.m. ET: 2,963,244 — Total deaths: 130,813 — Total recoveries: 924,148 — Total tested: 36,225,015Map.
  3. 2020: Biden releases plan to strengthen coronavirus supply chain.
  4. Congress: Trump administration notifies Congress of intent to withdraw from WHO.
  5. Public health: Fauci says it's a "false narrative" to take comfort in lower coronavirus death rate.
  6. World: Brazil's President Bolsonaro tests positive— India reports third-highest case count in the world.