Donald Trump arrest: Democrats worry indictment could foster repeat of 2016

APTOPIX Trump Indictment
Former President Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower, Monday, April 3, 2023, in New York. Trump arrived in New York on Monday for his expected booking and arraignment the following day on charges arising from hush money payments during his 2016 campaign. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura) Yuki Iwamura/AP

Donald Trump arrest: Democrats worry indictment could foster repeat of 2016

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Democrats are growing weary that the indictment of former President Donald Trump could help foster a repeat of 2016, when many were happy to have him go up against Hillary Clinton instead of other GOP candidates.

Trump won the 2016 presidential election in a shocking upset after many underestimated him by viewing him as the most beatable Republican candidate for the general election, and Democrats seem keen not to repeat that outcome.

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“Last time people were rooting for Donald Trump, he ended up president of the United States,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) told Politico. “We’ve seen this story before.”

However, many Democratic strategists believe Trump is a much different candidate from 2016 and that he can’t replicate that victorious White House run in 2024.

“When we dealt with Trump the first time around, he was a different quantity. People knew him as an entertainer, and he had this kind of bulletproof image … people saw him as this successful businessman who they’d grown up with or seen on TV for so many years,” Anne Caprara, who was head of Clinton’s 2016 super PAC, Priorities USA, said. “And I just think he’s got a much different image now.”

Trump has been rising in the Republican primary polls, with only Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) closely behind him. Regarding the general election polls, Trump tends to lag behind President Joe Biden.

A recent poll showed that between DeSantis and Trump, the Florida governor had better marks than Trump in every question except how DeSantis would fare in the GOP primary.

In the poll, Biden, Trump, and DeSantis all had favorability ratings that were underwater. Biden had the best favorable rating of the three, with 37% viewing him favorably and 56% viewing him unfavorably. DeSantis had the same favorable rating as Trump, 36%, but the Florida governor had a lower unfavorable rating, 39%, than the former president, 58%.

Trump’s figures for favorability tend to be poor for Republicans among a general electorate, but his numbers were not strong heading into the 2016 election either.

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Trump is facing an arrangement in Manhattan on Tuesday after a grand jury indicted him on charges related to a hush money payment.

The indictment appears to have stemmed from an investigation by prosecutors in New York City into allegedly falsified business records regarding a $130,000 reimbursement of Trump’s then-lawyer Michael Cohen for paying off porn star Stormy Daniels to stay quiet about an alleged affair she had with Trump. The payment was made in 2016 as Trump was running for president. Reports have indicated he is facing 34 felony counts for falsification of business records.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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