Republicans are pushing the spin that indicting Trump helps the former president’s 2024 campaign, but there is no data to suggest that this is true.
Everyone from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has claimed that Trump will win reelection if he is indicted,
but the data tells a very different story.
The Washington Post reported on a recent The Economist/YouGov poll that found:
When YouGov asked about this in the context of Trump, and suddenly there was far less concern on the right.
It asked how “serious an issue is it that an adult film star was paid $130,000 in October 2016 to remain silent about an alleged sexual encounter” she had with Trump. Just 15 percent of Republicans said this sounded like a “very serious issue,” while a majority of Democrats did. More than half of Republicans said it was “not very serious” or “not serious at all,” despite this seeming to fit the description of what three-quarters of Republicans had just said was a crime. It also bears noting that the question was about whether there was a crime; not whether Trump himself had committed one.
While a majority of Republican voters were willing to overlook concern over Trump’s behavior, fifteen percent were not. Trump lost the popular vote to President Biden by 7 million votes in 2020. If Trump’s vote share were to fall by 10%-15% in 2024, he would lose 7-10 million more votes due to being indicted.
There is zero data to suggest that Trump’s support will go up if he is indicted. The indictment may help him by galvanizing his supporters in the Republican primary and making it easier to dispose of Ron DeSantis, but in a general election, the indictment would only hurt Trump and appears to reduce his support to the core of the Republican Party.
Republicans seem to be operating under the assumption that a majority of Americans support Trump. However, the math doesn’t lie.
An indictment makes Trump an even weaker general election candidate than he currently appears to be, and anyone who thinks otherwise is selling a delusional fantasy.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association