A Sunday ABC News panel led by host and former Clinton White House spokesman George Stephanopoulos reacted to the “shocking” response to former President Donald Trump’s mugshot late last month after he was arrested and booked into the Fulton County, Ga., jail.
During a discussion on Sunday’s “This Week” edition, Stephanopoulos and the panel responded to a Wall Street Journal survey that shows Trump dead even with President Joe Biden, each with 46 percent support.
“It is kind of shocking in a way that despite all of the baggage that Donald Trump carries, he’s tied with Joe Biden right now,” Stephanopoulos said.
Donna Brazile, former head of the Democratic National Committee, admitted that the survey’s results were alarming for her party.
“When I looked at that recent poll, the Wall Street Journal, I said, ‘This could keep me up at night,’” she added, per Mediaite.
The same survey found that Trump has extended what was already a wide lead over the rest of the GOP primary field.
“With every passing month, with every new indictment, Donald Trump seems to be consolidating his control over the Republican Party,” Stephanopoulos said, turning to a right-leaning panel member, The Atlantic writer Reihan Salam.
“Republicans almost unanimously on that [debate] stage several days ago [said they] would vote for a convicted felon,” Stephanopoulos said. “Did you ever think you’d see the day?”
“The truth is that we are in a very polarized moment,” Salam said. “And when you’re looking at the Republican Party, it is strikingly unified. If you look at the most conservative voters and the party, they back the former president disproportionately. If you look at more moderate voters, female Republican primary voters, he just really has a lock on both wings of the party, so to speak. And that’s something that any rival has to appreciate it and respect.”
Trump’s popularity rose almost immediately following the release of his mugshot. But on the way to being booked in Atlanta, he received a huge amount of support from black communities along his route of travel.
Several videos posted online as Trump’s motorcade rolled through poorer neighborhoods in Atlanta on his way to be arrested by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis on charges related to the aftermath of the 2020 election are likely very worrisome for Democrats.
Hundreds of Black Americans, many holding signs and wearing shirts signaling their support for the embattled former president, cheered as he went by, videos showed, with several residents explaining that they believe the charges against Trump are bogus and that he is being mistreated.
One commentator posted a 45-second TikTok video on the X platform showing mostly Black bystanders reacting with enthusiasm to Trump’s appearance in their neighborhood.
“What the media doesn’t want you to see. The people love Trump,” said the post containing the video.
“Free Trump!” several people can be heard saying.
“Interesting reaction in Atlanta. Democrat city People screaming ‘Free Trump,’” another platform user wrote, adding: “This will backfire on Democrats.”