Donald Trump’s Grip On GOP Holding Firm – Despite four indictments and a refusal to debate his competitors, Donald Trump’s lead in the Republican primary polls is still insurmountable.
A new CNN/SSRS poll found Trump to be the first choice for 52% of Republican primary voters, 34 points ahead of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. No other candidate recorded double digits.
Trump’s outspoken personality is not the primary reason for his broad support.
Republican voters see the former president as their best option to handle the Russian invasion of Ukraine, immigration, and crime and justice.
Ironically, it’s the issue of justice which has been central to his third presidential campaign, and something he has used to bolster support.
Courtroom Dramas for Donald Trump
Trump’s 2024 calendar will be filled with courtroom appearances alongside traditional campaign events.
In fact, the former president has even turned his legal battles into a key part of his campaign.
His mugshot – released by Fulton County jail last month – has been plastered on t-shirts and merchandise to raise funds for his campaign.
With trials set to begin in March 2024, Trump may have to fight off the latter stages of the primary season in courtrooms rather than rallies.
His first trial – in relation to attempts to overturn the election – will begin on March 4, with the ever-important Super Tuesday the following day.
Faced with the prospect of a convicted felon being the presidential nominee, Republican voters remain unconcerned.
A majority contacted in the poll believed the charges had no impact on his ability to serve as president.
In line with his rhetoric of a “witch hunt,” around three-fifths of Republicans believe the criminal investigations against Trump are politically motivated.
The unprecedented nature of Trump’s campaign is unmatched by his rivals.
A 14th Amendment clause introduced after the Civil War is being used in an attempt to bar him from the ballot in New Hampshire, so unusual is the 2024 election.
Yet, Trump’s opponents are running traditional campaigns despite their low levels of support.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has stood firm on her support for Ukraine in contradiction with much of her party.
At the same time, former vice president Mike Pence has sought to claim credit for the Trump administration policies while maintaining an anti-Trump position.
Gov. DeSantis has campaigned to the right of Trump’s policies, but his robotic personality and lack of charisma have hindered his ability to resonate with voters.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, two of Trump’s most vocal Republican critics, have seemingly been punished for criticizing the party’s most popular politician with support in the low single digits.
Of course, there are still four months before voting begins in Iowa, and the situation could change throughout the primaries.
For now, however, Trump maintains a stronghold on the GOP like has for the best part of a decade.
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
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