Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Does Being Indicted Help Trump?

The short answer is: "Yes" in the primaries, "no" in the general election. The mugshot didn't bring in as much as a long-lost Van Gogh painting, but it did bring in a cool $4.2 million on the date of the booking and a total of $7.1 million in the first three days. The net amount is a bit less, since some of that haul was due to merch being sold and even low-quality made-in-China stuff costs the campaign something to buy and ship.

Possibly also a factor in the fundraising was Trump's first tweet (is there even a word for posting something to X?) since his account was reinstated last November. Still, in the past 3 weeks, the campaign has raised $20 million. Whoever said that crime doesn't pay obviously didn't have a Twitter account.

Undoubtedly all that money came from existing Trump supporters who are distraught at the thought of Trump having to pay his own legal bills. The indictments might make those in Iowa even more likely to brave the snow on a cold wintry night to go out and spend the evening in a freezing church to caucus for him. But that's all about the primaries. Winning the general election is a racehorse of a different color.

Politico had Ipsos run a poll on Trump. We don't know if this is a one-off thing, but in the past Politico used Morning Consult as its house pollster. Ipsos is a publicly traded French research company with 18,000 employees operating in 90 markets. This is kinda different than a small college where political science students make the calls.

Anyhow, here are some of the results. First, 61% of respondents want Trump to go on trial before the 2024 election:

Should Trump be tried before the 2024 election?

Of course, judges don't care what voters think, but if the trial is held prior to the election, it is probably going to annoy some voters and make them think he is guilty of something. Actually, they already think he is guilty. The next question asked if the respondent thinks Trump is guilty in the Jan. 6 coup attempt case. The answer is "yes" by 2 to 1, and even more with independents:

Is Trump guilty in the Jan. 6 case?

As to how a conviction would affect their vote, 32% of all respondents said a conviction would make them less likely to vote for Trump while 13% said it would make it more likely.

It could get worse for Trump. A sizable percentage of the public is not following his legal woes. Something like 30% said they do not understand the charges. If a case goes to trial, the coverage will be a tsunami. Of course, on Fox News it will be about how the deep state is railroading Trump, but the people who don't follow politics probably are not avid Fox viewers and may get their news from friends, social media, and other sources. If witness after witness says: "I was there helping Trump plot to steal the election," that is probably not going to help Trump with the people not currently paying much attention.

Another key question is whether the DoJ is being fair. Ipsos asked that, too:

Has the DoJ been fair to Trump?

Again here the gap between Democrats and Republicans is enormous, but by a 2-1 margin, independents say the DoJ has been fair to Trump. You can't win elections with only a third of the independents. And again, if there is a trial and eyewitnesses testify under oath about having seen Trump commit crimes, it is only going to get worse. If there is exculpatory evidence, why haven't we seen it already? It is rare for anyone accused of a crime to come out of it in better shape than he went in. Trump's real hope is that neither the D.C. case nor the Georgia case go to trial before the election. (V)

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