Donald Trump — Donald Trump became the first past or current president to be charged last week.
After much deliberation, the Manhattan grand jury reached its conclusion.
That is also just one of numerous high-profile Trump lawsuits.
A surprising rally
With a slew of indictments against him, one would believe Donald Trump’s political goals are jeopardized.
Nonetheless, many Republican leaders have been hesitant to criticize him.
They have instead targeted Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who initiated the accusations against Trump.
Likewise, betting markets continue to imply that Donald Trump is a lock for the Republican candidacy in 2024.
The indictment tipped the globe on its axis, ushering in an unusual position with a political reality that may shift.
Donald Trump’s popularity is most likely due to three factors:
- With the indictment hanging over his head, Trump’s polling advantage in the GOP primary for 2024 has grown in the previous month.
- Republicans feel the probes are politically motivated.
- Most Trump supporters are unconcerned about his general election viability.
Likewise, surveys from Fox News, Monmouth University, and Quinnipiac University indicate an improvement in Donald Trump’s Republican primary prospects.
In March, surveys showed Trump winning by double digits.
Furthermore, the former president acquired a leg up on his closest challenger, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has yet to launch his campaign.
Over February, Trump established a 12-point lead.
The Quinnipiac survey was released last week, and the findings were revealed.
Just 18% of registered Republican voters thought Trump’s allegations in the purported New York hush money scheme were serious.
58% of people thought they weren’t.
With the indictment becoming a reality, there may be a movement in thinking, but it may not be as substantial as it appears.
The Quinnipiac survey found that the majority of Republicans did not feel Alvin Bragg was objective.
Virtually every Republican (93%) believed his case was driven by politics, as did the majority of people (63%).
When it comes to any indictment against Donald Trump, Republicans appear to be on his side.
A recent Marist College survey questioned respondents which of the several Trump investigations they thought was more fair or a “witch hunt.”
The 2020 elections
The Manhattan lawsuit isn’t the only source of contention; Donald Trump has also been tied to the Capitol Riot.
Most Republicans feel his efforts to reverse the 2020 election outcome did not constitute a felony.
According to polls, the majority of Republicans feel Donald Trump’s efforts were just.
The majority of people thought Joe Biden only won because of voting fraud.
The bigger picture
Republicans’ belief that the lawsuits are politically motivated is merely a small part of the issue.
Another consideration is how Republicans perceive Donald Trump in the context of the larger general electorate.
The Republicans believe he is innocent, but also believe his legal concerns will be a barrier in the general election because people feel the probes are fair.
The polls say that an agreement on issues is more important than electability when it comes to Republican primary candidates.
According to a CNN survey, Republicans and Republican-leaning independents ranked defeating Biden as a higher priority than agreement on policies, with a 59% to 41% margin.
Trump supporters had similar feelings, with 61% believing that issue agreement should take precedence above electability, while 39% disagreed.
The figures demonstrate a significant departure from what occurred in the 2020 Democratic primary.
By March 2020, 73% of Biden backers advised voters to prioritize electability above issue consensus.
In other words, Biden’s pitch to Democratic voters was stronger than Trump’s case to Republicans.
A new hope
Despite the fact that most Republicans believe that other prospective contenders have a better chance of unseating Biden, Trump remains in the lead.
According to a February Marist survey, 54% of Republicans believe that someone other than Trump would provide the GOP a greater chance of recapturing the White House in 2024.
Yet, Republican voters may not have erred in 2023.
Notwithstanding the probable electability issues, Donald Trump appears to be developing an advantage over Joe Biden in general election surveys in the early part of the 2024 cycle than he did during the 2020 cycle.
Yet, the same survey found that DeSantis does somewhat better against Biden than Trump, which is consistent with what most Republicans believe.