Trump found an electoral strategy that works, that’s why he sticks with it

Trump found an electoral strategy that works, that’s why he sticks with it
Trump found an electoral strategy that works, that’s why he sticks with it

Donald Trump intends to lean on his criminal cases to propel his 2024 campaign into next year’s election, according to several people close to the former president, after he tested that strategy through multiple accusations and decided it gave him significant political advantages. .

The summer was devastating for Trump from a legal perspective, after he was accused of withholding national security documents in Florida, as well as trying to overturn the 2020 elections in Washington and Georgia, whose trials will take place before the election.

But politically speaking, the multiple indictments were unexpectedly beneficial to Trump to the extent that they gave him the opportunity to test lines of attack that presented the prosecutions as politically motivated, the success of which could be measured through fundraising and the results of the investigations. surveys.

The summer also gave Trump confirmation that blurring the lines between legal effort and political effort was perhaps his best overall strategy, in the bet that he could use criminal cases to benefit his campaign, which he could then use to benefit himself.

The conclusion has precipitated the inside joke that Trump is not so much running for the White House in 2024 as for his freedom, because if he won, he could appoint an attorney general to dismiss any pending cases or potentially pardon himself if he had already been condemned.

The strategy is working for the primaries, but it could be different in the general election when independent voters could be put off by Trump’s constant rants about his own legal problems, especially if he is later convicted of things like maintaining a classified U.S. military plan. United to attack Iran.

The Trump campaign has not resolved the debate conclusively, but it is also well aware that the 2024 elections, whether the Republican primaries or the contest with , will surely be overshadowed by Trump’s battles in the courts, no matter what the campaign does.

At the center of the current strategy is the recognition that after Trump was impeached, that would be the dominant issue of the 2024 race and he could well lean on the accusations and spin them to his advantage.

The key message Trump has settled on is the false claim he has maintained for years, but which his advisers found had renewed resonance: that the criminal cases were election interference and had been brought at the behest of Joe Biden, who was trying to prevent him from running.

In reality, the accusations are far from political. Trump was impeached in Washington for his own efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss, and in the case of the classified documents, prosecutors showed him deference until he defied a grand jury subpoena for their return.

But with Trump the favorite to become the Republican nominee in a likely election against Biden, the strategy that is crystallizing is for Trump to make Biden the face of the accusations and present him in television ads and on the debate stage as if prosecutors did their dirty work.

The decision to focus on the fact that he is being criminally charged (which would disqualify any other candidate) is a strategy unique to Trump, and one his advisers say is possible only because Trump knows he is a generator of ratings. cable news and can turn things into a circus.

That ability to create a carnival atmosphere, like when he scheduled his surrender in Fulton County in prime time, has proven to benefit Trump by sucking up oxygen for news coverage of any other candidate, as well as by distracting attention. of the embarrassment or seriousness of their legal problems.

No one can say for sure whether Trump’s gamble will pay off, and his advisers have warned him that criticizing the partisan accusations has been successful so far largely because it has been aimed at his MAGA (Make America Great Again) base. America Again) and has dominated the news cycles over his Republican primary rivals.

Advisers told Trump that the allegations, and therefore the messaging, were always going to be successful in the primaries because his base and most Republican primary voters do not trust the mainstream media about the charges and would take him the word that he was innocent.

And once primary voters back him, Trump’s advisers told him, he would gain the support and backing of top congressional Republicans, who long ago decided they needed to continue courting the Trump vote to ensure they avoid primaries. potentially conflictive.

The dilemma over how exactly to build criminal cases for the 2024 national election arose recently when the federal judge overseeing the 2020 election interference case in Washington set a trial date for March, the day before Super Tuesday, when it is scheduled that 15 states hold Republican primaries or caucuses.

Initially, some advisers were glad that Trump might be forced to appear in court as Super Tuesday began because it might seem like political interference to prevent him from campaigning. But then they decided that coverage of his legal difficulties rather than his politics could be damaging.

Translation: Ligia M. Oliver

You may be interested: According to a survey, three quarters of Americans say that Biden is too old for a second term

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