Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Polls Reveal How Trump's Indictment Might Affect the 2024 General Election

Polls Reveal How Trump's Indictment Might Affect the 2024 General Election

Polls Reveal How Trump's Indictment Might Affect the 2024 General Election
AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

As soon as it appeared that Donald Trump was on the verge of being indicted, many voices from the right and left warned the Democrats that indicting Trump would backfire and propel him to reelection. Others, however, disagreed. Matt Walsh of the Daily Wire suggested that Democrats may actually be trying to help Trump by arresting him and making him the Republican nominee, figuring that Trump is the nominee they want to face in the general election.

“They want Trump to be the Republican nominee,” Walsh tweeted a month ago in reference to the Democrats. “That’s obviously the play here. There is no other conceivable reason to arrest and perp walk him on a bulls—t misdemeanor charge. I might be overestimating the tactical intelligence of the idiot power-hungry hacks behind this. But if there is any political strategy then that has to be it.”

I didn’t buy this theory one bit. Democrats have been attempting to find incriminating evidence against Trump for a long time, and there is a need to appease their party base who believe he is guilty of some wrongdoing, regardless of what it is. The indictment against Trump was the result of a years-long effort to discover evidence against him. Despite the weakness of the allegations, Alvin Bragg, the prosecutor, couldn’t not go through with it, because doing so would have ruined his political career.

Related: Are Democrats Deliberately Making Trump a Martyr to Boost Him With GOP Voters?

But Walsh wasn’t alone. Ann Coulter, who once said that Trump was the only GOP candidate in 2016 who could win, agreed with Walsh’s theory. “The left’s sole objective is to make Trump the Republicans’ 2024 presidential nominee. He’s already lost three election cycles for the GOP — why not make it four?” she said earlier this month.

Do Democrats really believe that arresting would help Trump win the GOP primaries but doom him in the general election? That’s a risky gamble to take, don’t you think? Polls have shown that most Americans think the charges against him are politically motivated, and does anyone really believe that independents aren’t troubled by the idea of partisans abusing the justice system to target their political enemies? The Democrats would be taking a significant risk by pursuing a strategy that could backfire and potentially lead to Trump’s re-election. It’s important to remember that many people believed Trump was unelectable in 2016, yet he still managed to win the White House.

Part of the theory has come true. It’s become apparent in the weeks since the indictment that the GOP base has rallied behind Trump.

The question is, how has it affected his general election polls?

Well, according to Real Clear Politics, Trump has an average spread of 1.7 points above Biden. That may not sound like much, but let’s dig deeper and compare pre- and post-indictment polls of what we have available so far:


    • Pre-Indictment (2/8 – 2/12): Biden +3
    • Post-Indictment (3/30 – 4/3): Trump +7

Swing: +10 Trump


    • Pre-Indictment (1/14 – 1/17): Biden +4
    • Post-Indictment (3/30 – 4/3): Trump +2

Swing: +6 Trump

These polls demonstrate that the positive impact of the indictment on Trump’s polling numbers extends beyond GOP primary voters. The swing in Trump’s favor suggests that many voters are concerned about the politicization of the justice system. It seems that the indictment is actually boosting Trump’s chances in the general election and may even help him secure the White House. Who would have thought that the Democrats’ efforts to take down Trump could end up backfiring so spectacularly?

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