Reply To: Trump’s Courtroom and Campaign Trail Collision is About to become a Reality

  • outdoorsguy

    January 3, 2024 at 5:49 pm

    Trump’s GOP primary strategy is also his courtroom defense

    The new year is off to a strong start. With only two weeks before the first presidential caucuses, yet another debate for second place is in the offing and legal filings are dropping in one of Donald Trump’s several civil and criminal cases day and night. And we’re only three days into 2024. I hope everyone got themselves a good rest over the holidays because there’s going to be no time to catch your breath between now and Election Day next November. The games have officially begun.

    The Republicans primaries look to be gelling exactly as predicted. The weak and tepid Trump opposition hasn’t been able to get any real traction despite hundreds of millions of dollars being spent. The race for second place is between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley but it’s clear that Trump is still the leader of the party and, as predicted, will almost certainly get the nomination.

    There have been a number of articles in recent days taking a look at his campaign. The Washington Post published a long piece about how he “reignited his base and took control of the Republican primary” which ends up concluding that he never really lost the base in the first place. In fact, according to a new poll by the same paper with the University of Maryland, MAGA has not only stuck with Trump on the questions of January 6, a few who believed that he might have done something wrong at the time have now come back to his side. Still, they aren’t many. Republicans loved Trump then and they love him now.

    The good news is that according to that same poll, the majority of Americans are not so enamored.

    55% believe that January 6 was an attack on democracy and 56% believe that Trump is definitely or probably guilty of a crime.

    Only 11% of Republicans are among them but that’s just par for the course. That majority may not be huge but it could obviously make a difference. The New York Times looked at polling over the last six months which asked if a conviction would change voters’ minds about voting for Trump and the numbers were substantial enough to change the outcome. Citing their own findings should Trump be convicted:

    [T]he poll found the race in these six [swing] states would seismically shift in the aggregate: a 14-point swing, with Mr. Biden winning by 10 rather than losing by four percentage points. The same poll also provides insights into the effect a Trump conviction would have on independent and young voters, which are both pivotal demographics. Independents now go for Mr. Trump, 45 percent to 44 percent. However, if he is convicted, 53 percent of them choose Mr. Biden and only 32 percent Mr. Trump.

    The movement for voters ages 18 to 29 was even greater. Mr. Biden holds a slight edge, 47 percent to 46 percent, in the poll. But after a potential conviction, Mr. Biden holds a commanding lead, 63 percent to 31 percent.

    These findings were backed up by several others as well.

    Acknowledging the general uselessness of these early polls to predict the outcome of the election, I think it’s fair to say that this response may actually be a pretty good gauge of the public’s attitude on this issue. Sure, Republicans don’t care.

    They’re even starting to warm to the idea of Trump serving from a jail cell. But a majority of Americans still cling to the idea that the president of the United States should not be a convicted criminal.

    This explains one bizarre aspect of the Trump strategy: his push to wrap up the primary quickly.

    Yes, he rants daily about “deranged Jack Smith” and the other prosecutors, claiming he’s being persecuted by the deep state and whining about the unfairness of it all. That’s just him. But there is a method to his madness.

    NBC News reports that Trump’s campaign believes the Jan. 6 trial was specifically timed to take him off the trail at a crucial stage so they think they’re outsmarting the prosecutors by wrapping up the primary early. (That sounds like something they told their client to make him happy…)

    But Trump also wants to get the primary race out of the way so that he can legitimately claim to be the presumptive nominee and use that argument to back up his fatuous assertion that this is a political prosecution and he cannot be put on trial before the election.

    That’s not going to work but I suspect he thinks it will be politically useful. For the same reason, he’s been strong-arming all the elected Republicans to publicly endorse him and according to Politico, they are being good little MAGA sycophants even though it’s obvious that many of them really don’t want to.

    Trump believes that this will strengthen his argument that the criminal charges he faces are all witch trials.