To say that the former President of the United States is having a less-than-stellar few days would be a vast understatement.
On Thursday, former President Donald Trump was indicted on a whopping 37 counts by the Justice Department.
Those 37 counts were divvied as such: 31 counts “Willful Retention of National Defense Information,” and one count each of “Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice,” “Withholding a Document or Record,” “Corruptly Concealing a Document or Record,” “Concealing a Document in a Federal Investigation,” “Scheme to Conceal,” and “False Statements and Representations.”
Exacerbating those matters, Trump’s legal team also saw a shake-up on Friday, when two key members of that team left.
Despite all of the chaos and tumult surrounding the former commander-in-chief, Trump has made it positively clear that he remains largely unbothered by any of this.
It’s a sentiment that’s apparently been adopted by swathes of prospective Republican voters, at least according to a CBS News Poll conducted by YouGov (the poll was conducted from June 9-10, 2023, and has a 6.6 margin of error.)
Perhaps the most telling sign of that is the most obvious one. When asked how these indictment charges might potentially affect their view of Trump, 61 percent of likely GOP primary voters all said that the indictments would not change their view of the former president.
In another telling sign, among likely GOP primary voters, 80 percent of them said that should Trump actually be convicted over his scandals, he should still be able to be president.
While the poll is undoubtedly good news for Trump in terms of where his supporters stand before what will be a bloody GOP primary battle (Trump is still far and away the heavy favorite to emerge from the GOP primary field), the poll also suggested that not all is hunky dory with prospective Trump voters.
When polled on what they want to hear Trump discuss and campaign on, likely GOP primary voters made it clear that the current state of the country is the most pressing issue — and that the past should remain in the past.
According to this poll, 96 percent of likely GOP primary voters would prefer Trump talk about his plans for the country. Conversely, 61 percent of those GOP voters want Trump to stop talking about the investigations against him, and over two-thirds (68 percent) of voters want Trump to stop talking about whatever it is that he thinks happened in the 2020 general election.
Perhaps the most telling sign that Trump still wields an incredible amount of influence among GOP voters was the fact that the poll found that 74 percent of likely GOP primary voters would like a candidate “similar to Trump” should Trump himself, for whatever reason, not be the GOP nominee.
To be clear, that GOP nomination is still Trump’s to lose at the moment. When polled on which 2024 Republican presidential nominee they would vote for today, 61 percent of the responses all chose Trump in a landslide over the four other top contenders (Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, former Vice President Mike Pence, and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley).
That shouldn’t surprise anyone.
Even with a cursory glance at social media reactions, it’s clear that many of Trump’s most ardent supporters think that these 37 charges against him are spurious and being weaponized by the incumbent president.
The CBS News/YouGov poll only confirms that anecdotal evidence..
So no, Trump hasn’t gotten much good news in the last week (though he did get some).
But all that bad news apparently is not swaying his core base one iota.
And it’s hard to think of much better news for Trump than that.