The Circus is in Town
Author: Greg Valliere
April 3, 2023
FOR THE POLITICAL CLASS here in Washington, the latest polls are astonishing. Trump now leads by about 30 percentage points for the GOP nomination, as party leaders condemn the New York indictment without even seeing what’s in it.
THIS IS WHAT TRUMP CRAVES — HE WILL BE ON THE FRONT PAGES for months to come, as three other major indictments loom, which will further enrage Republicans; having this relatively weak case come first strengthens Trump’s hand. And the Washington Post reports this morning — on the front page, of course — that there’s more signs of Trump obstruction of top secret documents found in Mar-a-Lago.
A MINORITY OF REPUBLICANS think “Trump fatigue” will increase later this year, and that’s entirely possible, especially if protests erupt. But there’s no chance — none, zero — that any of these cases will be resolved in 2023. Trump is the master of delaying and appealing, so these cases will dominate politics well into the election year of 2024.
A DIVIDED COUNTRY: According to an ABC poll, 45% of all Americans think Trump should have been charged with a crime in this case, whereas 32% don’t think so and 23% say they don’t know. But among Republicans, his lead is about 30% and it’s safe to say that Trump once again is the prohibitive favorite for the nomination.
THE PROSPECT OF ENDLESS TRUMP CONTROVERSIES — with continued weak polling numbers for Joe Biden — has prompted the centrist group No Labels to get presidential ballot lines for another candidate, a moderate, in all 50 states in 2024. The group calls its effort an “insurance policy” against the major parties nominating two “unacceptable” candidates next year.
THIS IS LIKE CATNIP for politicians like Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who said yesterday that “I don’t rule myself in and I don’t rule myself out.” His presidential ambitions are poorly concealed.
IN THE REAL WORLD, our readers have to worry about an economy that won’t cool off. The OPEC announcement of an output cut of just over 1 million barrels a day may keep inflation hot. If this Friday’s jobs report is solid, more Fed rate hikes will be likely well into the spring.
SO WE BEGIN THE SECOND QUARTER worrying about the same thing that worried us in the previous quarter — a lack of confidence in the financial markets and the country as a whole. But for now, the circus is in town.
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