Donald Trump is losing. And he knows it.
Asked during a wild Rose Garden event if he expects to lose to former Vice President Joe Biden in November, the president said no. But what followed was an acknowledgement he is betting big on a small portion of the US electorate.
"I think we have really good poll numbers. They're not suppression polls; they're real polls," he said of surveys conducted by his campaign team. "You look at the Intracoastal [Waterway] in Florida. You look at the lakes. You see thousands of boats with Trump signs, American signs."
"You've got the Trump-Pence sign all over. You look at what's going on," he said. "You look at bikers, for miles and miles, riding up highways proudly with their signs."
Some non-Trump campaign polls suggest, on his approval rating and questions like is the country on the right track, the boaters and bikers are all Mr Trump has left.
He knows that, too. He isn't really hiding it, either.
Just 28 per cent of Americans believe the United States is headed in the right direction, according to a Politico-Morning Consult poll released Wednesday. An eye-popping 72 per cent -- nearly two-thirds -- say the country is careening down the wrong path.
Mr Trump, as president, is driving the Red, White and Blue Express along that path as his disapproval rating is at 56 per cent, according to the same survey. The poll put his approval rating at 41 per cent, about where it has been for his entire term.
But another survey, from CNBC and Change Research, put his approval rating in six crucial swing states at a record low. Just 45 per cent of respondents in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are okay with the president's job performance. Over half (55 per cent) disapprove.
Mr Trump did what he does Wednesday night as the sun first roasted reporters outside the Oval Office then dipped behind the White House colonnade: He resorted to hyperbole and the sowing of fear. He lashed out at Mr Biden, painting him as a puppet of the "radical left."
He embellished Biden proposal after Biden proposal. "Today, Joe Biden gave a speech in which he said that the core of his economic agenda is a hard-left crusade against American energy," he raged. "He wants to kill American energy."
Mr Trump said "abolish" 15 times in the hour-long diatribe to refer to policy platform rolled out so far by the former VP and 2020 favorite.
So aggrieved and seemingly angry was the president, he made strange claims like "you're going to abolish the suburbs with this" and "that basically means no windows, no nothing."
Running a campaign with a thin message about why voters should hand him a second term that is largely based on, as one GOP strategist said Tuesday, a claim that "Joe Biden is a doddering old fool, the president repeatedly stepped on his own attack lines.
"Last week, Joe Biden released his unity platform, developed with socialist Bernie Sanders, describing what he would do if elected president," Mr Trump said, referring to the independent Vermont senator.
"The Biden-Sanders agenda is, agenda is the most extreme platform of any major party nominee, by far, in American history," he claimed. "I think it's worse than, actually, Bernie's platform -- it's gone so far right."
Mr Trump, after five years of surreal moments, found a way to somehow deliver 62 of the most surreal minutes since he rode that escalator in Trump Tower to announce his candidacy in 2015.
He rambled. He bounced from topic to topic at a pace more scattershot and rapid than usual. Taking notes was virtually impossible as the president's cadence got faster and faster as he leapt from Biden allegation to grievance then to something else.
He tried discussing immigration policy, but served up a confusing word salad.
"We have great agreements where when Biden and Obama used to bring killers out, they would say don't bring them back to our country, we don't want them. Well, we have to, we don't want them. They wouldn't take them. Now with us, they take them," he said. "Someday, I'll tell you why. Someday, I'll tell you why."
"But they take them and they take them very gladly. They used to bring them out and they wouldn't even let the airplanes land if they brought them back by airplanes," the president said. "They wouldn't let the buses into their country. They said, 'We don't want them.' Said, 'No.' But they entered our country illegally and they're murderers, they're killers in some cases."
Killers. Murderers. Abolish. Mr Trump spent much of Tuesday spouting rhetoric that makes his conservative base salivate. But he is betting it just might scare enough on-the-fence Republicans into voting for him one last time come November.
He told CBS News that "more white people" die at the hands of police. (When adjusted for population, black people are more likely to do so.) He all but hugged the Confederate flag in the same interview, saying "some people love it" and he won't distance himself from the defeated Confederacy's Civil War battle flag because it's all about "free speech."
Mr Biden has managed to get under Mr Trump's skin, causing the president to drift further off message and torch any discipline he had left. Expect an encore.
The president spent just six of those 62 minutes taking reporters questions at what was billed as a press conference. As he prepared to leave the Rose Garden, he put everyone on notice: "We will be having these conferences again."