How can Donald Trump skip a debate – and even take a horrible-looking mugshot that twenty years ago would have ended his political career – and have his poll numbers go up?
And yet, that is what has happened.
Donald Trump Gets Great News…
According to the new Morning Consult Poll, “Trump skipped the Republican Party’s first primary debate and scored headlines instead as he surrendered to Georgia authorities, producing a historic presidential mug shot that was nearly impossible to miss. Now, his party’s expected electorate is viewing him as even more electable against President Joe Biden than it did before.”
Morning Consult breaks this down even more:
According to our Aug. 24-27 survey, 62% of potential primary voters said they think Trump has the best chance of beating the Democratic incumbent. That is up 9 percentage points over the previous week, and matches a high in Morning Consult’s tracking of the question since April.
Their belief tracks with the Republican front-runner’s continued standing against Biden in a head-to-head test among the overall electorate.
Despite his escalating legal troubles, which he’s embraced with his campaign’s monetization of his mug shot, our daily tracking shows that Trump continues to poll neck-and-neck against Biden while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis trails the incumbent.
On that note, just 13% of voters who indicated they plan to vote in a Republican primary or caucus in their state said DeSantis is most electable against Biden — matching a tracking low — while the share who said the same of entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy fell from 10% to 6% following his high-profile appearance in the debate.”
Speaking of the debate and Vivek, Morning Consult also added that:
“Ramaswamy, who remains the No. 3 contender for the Republican presidential nomination with 10% support, saw a boost in awareness among the GOP’s electorate following the first televised matchup, during which lower-polling rivals each lobbed fiery attacks on his credentials.
While Ramaswamy continues to be the third-most popular candidate among potential GOP primary voters, the share with negative views increased following his debate appearance as more voters became aware of him.”
Of course, after watching several of these presidential cycles now up close, the GOP nomination is still too early to call.
Donald Trump, of course, remains in the driver’s seat.
However, all bets are off if he is convicted of a crime.
And, keep in mind, he is right now up on 91 different charges.
The chances of him getting found guilty on at least one count and doing some sort of jail time seem high.
What happens then?
Much would depend on timing, but if you think 2016 was a crazy election cycle, 2024 will get far more interesting.
About the Author
Harry J. Kazianis (@Grecianformula) is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive and serves as President and CEO of Rogue States Project, a bipartisan national security think tank. He has held senior positions at the Center for the National Interest, the Heritage Foundation, the Potomac Foundation, and many other think tanks and academic institutions focused on defense issues. He served on the Russia task force for U.S. Presidential Candidate Senator Ted Cruz, and in a similar role in the John Hay Initiative. His ideas have been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, CNN, CNBC, and many other outlets across the political spectrum. He holds a graduate degree in International Relations from Harvard University and is the author of the book The Tao of A2/AD, a study of Chinese military modernization. Kazianis also has a background in defense journalism, having served as Editor-In-Chief at The Diplomat and Executive Editor for the National Interest.
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