By Jim Ellis — Friday, March 31, 2023
Donald Trump: Indictment — Yesterday’s indictment of former President Donald Trump will undoubtedly change the presidential campaign picture, but predicting any eventuality at this early juncture of the juxtaposition between the legal and political processes is difficult.
In the past few weeks, Trump has been trending upward in national Republican primary polling. Earlier in the year, survey results were flip-flopping between he and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in terms of which man was leading on ballot tests before a national Republican electorate.
As we approached yesterday’s indictment, both the horse race numbers, ostensibly between Trump and DeSantis, and even the personal favorability indexes were showing noticeable improvement in the former president’s favor.
In fact, the recent Fox News Poll posted Trump to a 30-point national Republican advantage over Gov. DeSantis (conducted by Beacon Research and Shaw & Company Research for Fox News; March 24-27; 1,007 US registered voters; approximately 423 Republican primary voters; live interview: Trump 54; DeSantis 24; former VP Mike Pence 6; ex-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley 3; former Congresswoman Liz Cheney 3 percent).
It will be interesting to see just how the media coverage of the indictment, arraignment, legal arguments and eventual trial changes the political picture. There is no question that the associated events and their ultimate outcome will have at this point an undetermined major impact upon the nomination campaign’s outcome. It will doubtlessly also affect the general election contest.
What we do know is the previous early polling pattern is still present. Yesterday, a new Georgia Republican presidential primary poll was released, and we again see Gov. DeSantis performing better on a state basis than he does nationally.