Donald Trump Hits the Wall
Author: Greg Valliere
March 28, 2023
A NEW POLL IN IOWA shows that Trump now trails Ron DeSantis there, 45% to 37%, and New Hampshire — where Trump had a huge lead at the beginning of the year — is now tied. A new Marist poll, released yesterday, found that 61% of adults do not want Trump to become president again, compared to 38% who said they do want four more years of him.
TRUMP WILL GET TO TROT OUT his old arguments about a “witch hunt” if he’s indicted, as expected, in New York later this week. The Marist poll asked voters to assess the Stormy Daniels probe, and 46% think Trump did something illegal, 29% think he did something unethical but not illegal, and 23% say he did nothing wrong, the poll found.
A WEAK CASE: Of the four major Trump investigations, the Stormy Daniels case appears to be the weakest. It relies on testimony from the convicted felon Michael Cohen, and a convoluted legal case that ties campaign financing to payments to the porn performer.
THE OTHER THREE CASES ARE POTENTIALLY EXPLOSIVE: Prosecutors are close to wrapping up a case in Georgia that will allege that Trump sought to overturn the 2020 election result there. An indictment seems likely in the case of Trump’s taking classified documents to Mar-a-Lago. And the most explosive case of all involves Trump’s alleged incitement of the Jan. 6 riot.
TAKEN INDIVIDUALLY, TRUMP MAY HAVE A CASE — and will seek lengthy delays — in all four investigations, but collectively it’s a heavy load. Even if the Stormy Daniels probe fizzles, voters have heard the phrase “hush payments to a porn star” hundreds of times. The Marist poll highlighted that Trump received a tepid response from white Evangelical Christians, 41% of whom are now against him, potentially a major shift.
MORE CANDIDATES ARE ABOUT JOIN THE RACE: If Trump’s poll weakness is the beginning of a trend, and with DeSantis not showing much charisma, there’s a path for a few more GOP candidates. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina is expected to announce soon, along with Mike Pompeo and tough-guy Chris Christie.
OUR LONG-SHOT CONTINUES TO BE GLENN YOUNGKIN, the popular and well-financed Virginia governor. He hasn’t shown a desire to run, but if the polls show dissatisfaction with both Trump and DeSantis, there’s room for a fresh face like Youngkin, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu or Nikki Haley.
COULD TRUMP STILL BE THE NOMINEE? Of course — he could win crowded primaries with 35% or 40% of the vote. But his act is getting stale and his late-winter surge may have hit the wall as Republican voters face the likelihood that an indicted Trump probably could not win the general election.
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