Trump’s indictment will not help him win the general election

Trump and Joe Biden

Trump’s indictment will not help him win the general election

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After the shocking news that a Manhattan grand jury was indicting former President Donald Trump, many of his supporters took to social media to declare how this questionable legal act would help him win the 2024 presidential election.

Understandably, many of his supporters were upset with the news and believed he was being targeted. This seems obvious. But Trump’s indictment will not help him win any election.


I voted for Trump twice and would vote for him again if he were the nominee against Biden in 2024. But his legal woes do nothing to increase his support among those who didn’t vote for him. It doesn’t expand his base or appeal. To think otherwise is a delusion.

Here is the reality of the situation: millions of people in the country vehemently hate the former president. He is the only president in history to have lost the country’s popular vote in two consecutive elections by more than 400,000 votes (Benjamin Harrison is the other president to lose the popular vote in two elections). Trump lost to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016 by over 2.8 million votes and lost to Biden in 2020 by over 7 million votes.

I know that Trump doesn’t need to win the popular vote to become president. However, it is unreasonable to expect Trump to pull off a second Electoral College victory without it. That has only happened five times in our country’s history, and Trump already benefited from that lightning strike once. No president in our country’s history has ever been elected to two terms without winning the popular vote at least once. It is doubtful that an indicted, twice-impeached president — even if all those charges were politically weaponized — will be the first to break that trend.


Even if it results from a political witch hunt, Trump’s indictment does little to change these numbers. Trump was underwater in public opinion before the indictment. People will not suddenly flock to him after it.

Maybe Trump will gain some support from those who believe he is being persecuted. But, overall, the anger does little to rile up anyone not already part of Trump’s base. The people that hate Trump and voted against him will do so again in 2024; Trump’s indictment doesn’t change that.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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