When somebody is in competition to another, it is not so much whether he is actually better that counts.
It is whether the voices that most people listen to judge his performance as better.
The “critics’ consensus”. The consensus of the voices that most people think are reasonable and informed. Whatever that means, right?
When you trust a source that says “Trump totally owned Hillary, that bitch”, then that is the truth.
When you trust a source that says “Hillary is the rightful winner, Trump only tricked himself into winning”, then that is the truth.
But it’s much more apparent when there is no actual competition rules, like in a presidency.
In a debate.
Take a public debate. Most people afterwards will gravitate towards sources that proclaim that their preferred debater “won” or “totally burned” the other one.
In a debate there is no objective winner. What counts is not so much whether someone has actually won, but whether you can convince people that some particular part of the debate marked a participant’s victory.
And suddenly, after the critic says it, “it becomes obvious”. Well, why wasn’t it obvious before the critic or “expert” said it?