Earlier this month, a D.C. grand jury indicted former President Donald Trump on charges related to Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into the Capitol riot on January 6. Trump’s campaign called it “nothing more than the latest corrupt chapter in the continued pathetic attempt by the Biden Crime Family and their weaponized Department of Justice to interfere with the 2024 Presidential Election,” and experts panned the indictment.
That’s all fine and good, but the important question is: what do Americans think?
If Trump can effectively portray Joe Biden and his administration as weaponizing the Department of Justice to target a political opponent, that message can resonate with voters who are concerned about such abuses of power.
According to a new poll from Rasmussen, a slim majority (51%) of voters support the indictment, while 46% disapprove.
As can be expected, a substantial majority of Democrats (77%) support the indictment, of which 64% indicated strong approval. But what Democrats think is less of an issue than what Republicans and Independents think. And that’s where things get interesting.
The poll found that 69% of Republican voters disapprove of the indictment, with 61% strongly disapproving. This is noteworthy because Democrats support the indictment more than Republicans oppose it. This is problematic for Trump, as it suggests that there’s a sizable number of Republican voters who are okay with the indictment, despite the weakness of the case and the obvious partisan motives behind it. It stands to reason that the voters who disapprove of the indictment will vote for Trump in the general election, but they may not be very motivated to do so.
On the bright side for Trump, 52% of independents disapprove of the indictment, and within this group, 40% strongly disapprove. While it’s good that independents disapprove of the indictment, they don’t by a huge margin.
But in fairness, the results are a bit more nuanced than that. Despite the fact that 51% of voters overall support the indictments, 56% agreed with the statement that “the new indictment of Trump could not be more political … [It] targets political speech and characterizes it as a criminal activity.” Only 56% of Democrats disagreed with this statement, meaning there’s some overlap between Democrats who support the indictment and Democrats who believe Trump’s free speech is being criminalized.
Meanwhile, 78% of Republicans agreed with the statement, and 56% of Independents agreed as well. This bodes well for Trump because it tells us there’s likely an opportunity for him to convince independents and even Trump-fatigued Republicans that he is the target of prosecutorial misconduct at the hands of the Biden administration.
The challenge for Trump is getting a fair chance to make that case to the American people. Americans want to believe we have a fair system that treats everyone equally, but the actions of the Biden administration certainly don’t help that image.
But the mainstream media isn’t going to promote that narrative, is it? They’ve been trying to convict Trump of something ever since he first ran for president. On top of that, for all the coverage they give these bogus indictments, they’ve generally ignored Joe Biden’s scandals, including the recent revelations about his son Hunter and the influence-peddling he was conducting.
In other words, Trump has his work cut out for him.