Trump remains undisputed GOP frontrunner candidate amid multiple criminal indictments

September 5, 2023
Ben Marquis

Former President Donald Trump has been hit with four separate criminal indictments from three different Democratic prosecutors in just a matter of months this year.

Yet, despite those indictments -- or perhaps because of them -- he continues to be the undisputed frontrunner candidate for the Republican Party's 2024 presidential nomination, according to Fox News.

If Democrats and Trump's haters had hoped that the series of federal and state-level indictments would end his prospects for re-election to a second term, they appear to have been sorely mistaken, as Trump and his campaign have seized upon the indictments to further bolster his support in the polls and fundraising totals.

Trump's polling support has increased following indictments

As things currently stand in the RealClearPolitics average of primary polls, former President Trump holds a commanding lead over the entirety of the rest of the field of GOP candidates with around 53.4% support.

That is a more than 38-point lead over his nearest and only real competitor for the Republican nomination, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has an average of around 14.8% support in the polls while all of the other candidates are mired in single digits.

Further, there is little denying that the several criminal indictments against him have helped Trump attain that substantial lead, as boosts to his support can clearly be seen over a timeline graph that clearly coincides with the issuance of the indictments beginning in March with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Likewise, similar but smaller upticks in his already high support appear to align with the first indictment from Special Counsel Jack Smith in June followed by yet another increase when he was indicted twice in August by Special Counsel Smith again as well as Georgia's Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

The same story, albeit with slightly smaller leads and less volatility, can be seen in the RCP polling averages for early voting caucus and primary states like Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, where Trump currently holds respective leads over his rivals of 26, 31, and 30 points.

Indictments have fueled Trump's fundraising efforts

Former President Trump's support in the polls aside, the four indictments against him have also proven to be a boon for his campaign fundraising efforts, according to Fox News.

That is because he and his campaign have been largely successful in framing the several criminal indictments as politically motivated prosecutions that are intended to put him in prison instead of the White House and deny his supporters an opportunity to vote him into office for a second term as president.

Following the most recent indictment out of Georgia, the Trump campaign claimed that it raised more than $9.4 million in just a matter of days -- bringing the campaign's August total above $20 million -- as his supporters responded to the allegations put forward by a clearly partisan Democratic prosecutor.

A huge factor in that post-Georgia indictment fundraising haul was the inexplicable mugshot that he was forced to take -- an instantly iconic photo that he and his campaign immediately exploited for financial gain by way of fundraising pleas and mugshot-branded merchandise sales.

Fundraising and public polls won't save Trump from court appearances or prison

All of that said, the Associated Press reported last month that a substantial portion of the funds raised by former President Trump aren't being used by his campaign to boost his re-election chances, but rather have been diverted to help cover the massive and growing legal costs associated with his defense against the four separate indictments.

And, for what it is worth, no lead in the polls, no matter how big, will suffice to keep him out of various courtrooms in the coming months or, worse, prison if actually convicted of the dozens of charges pressed against him.

Yet, at least as of now, Trump is winning the race for the GOP nomination to face his 2020 rival, President Joe Biden -- or whoever else Democrats may ultimately nominate in 2024 -- and that rematch will likely be an incredibly close and hard-fought affair, the end result of which is too unpredictable to confidently call this far out from Election Day.

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