It’s too early to assess the political damage to Trump resulting from his recent and pending indictment(s), and more importantly for Dems to define a new 2024 strategy. But the damage looks substantial enough for Dems to begin thinking about it.
In “How Trump’s new indictment could affect 2024,” WaPo’s Aaron Blake limns the damage to Trump, as revealed by previous opinion polls: “
What seems clear is that more Americans, Republicans included, view these charges as serious. And while another indictment might not be enough to sink Trump in a GOP primary, this one for now appears more problematic, especially for his general-election hopes.
….The first thing to note: As with previous polls, people are less concerned about the charges Trump faces in Manhattan. While 52 percent of Americans regard it as a “serious crime” to falsify business records to conceal hush money payments to an adult-film star — the lowest percentage of five issues tested — 65 percent say the same about taking highly classified documents from the White House and obstructing efforts to retrieve them….Among just Republicans, while 28 percent say the former is serious, 42 percent say the latter is.
Much also depends on how much people would regard a conviction as being disqualifying. And that’s where this poll is especially helpful.
The survey also asked whether people thought Trump should be allowed to serve as president if he’s convicted of a “serious crime.” Just 23 percent overall said he should be, while 62 percent said he shouldn’t be. Republicans were more evenly split, with 39 percent saying a serious crime would be disqualifying.
The overlap between these two questions — how many people view serious crimes as disqualifying and regard these particular things as serious crimes — is also crucial.
Blake goes on to cite a YouGov poll which “combined the data” and found:
Regarding the Manhattan indictment, 41 percent of independents and 44 percent overall view the alleged crime as serious and also say it would be disqualifying.
Those numbers go up to 49 percent and 50 percent, respectively, in the classified documents case.
That’s nearly half of voters who, to the extent the case is proved in their minds, say Trump would be disqualified.
Blake adds, “this is people saying he shouldn’t even be considered for office in that case — not just that he will have done something seriously wrong.”
Of course, the shelf life of public attitudes toward Trump this week could be ancient history in a few more weeks. Or, it could get a lot worse pretty quick.
The Biden Administration will respond intelligently. The short term strategy is to STFU and allow impartial justice take its course. Other Democratic leaders will make comments disparaging Trump. But they should also focus their scorn on the GOP’s culture of corruption, moral decay and utter disdain for democracy, a perfect petri dish for creating their Frankenstein. The anti-Trump rank and file progressives are already in gloatfest mode – part of what 8 years of Frankenstein’s rampage has accomplished. But every Democrat should repeat the “let impartial justice take it’s course” mantra.
It is more possible today that one of the other Republicans will win the GOP presidential nomination. But let’s not be shocked if that doesn’t happen. Regardless, Democrats should focus on building unity, affirming their commitment to democratic values and principles and mobilizing a record-level turnout to end the exhausting mayhem of the Republican fiasco.