How Many Indictments…

Patrick McCorkle
3 min readAug 5, 2023

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How many indictments does it take to get to the center of the Trump campaign?

Cheeky reference to the Tootsie Pop ad aside, the indictment of former President Donald Trump for involvement in the January 6th insurrection, his third of this year, may be finally affecting his support.

Politico has an excellent recap of all the investigations and indictments. So far. I can’t believe I have to add the last part, ugh.

The superb political analysts at FiveThirtyEight have a couple of pieces discussing the January 6th indictment. Now, the first indictment, relating to hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels, had negligible effects on Mr. Trump’s favorability. However, the second, involving classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, led to a 3.6% drop two weeks after it was announced.

It’s impossible to say with complete certainty that the favorability drop was due to the second indictment. Nevertheless, polling data reveals that rising percentages of Americans believe the crimes outlined Mr. Trump’s indictment to be “very serious.” I have copied and pasted a chart from FiveThirtyEight:

Americans view the federal Jan. 6 charges very seriously …

Share of registered voters who believed each allegation was a serious crime, according to a July 13–17 poll

ALLEGATION% WHO THINK IT’S A SERIOUS CRIME:

Conspiring to overturn the results of a presidential election: 71%

Attempting to obstruct certifying a presidential election: 69%

Taking classified documents and obstructing retrieval efforts: 64%

Falsifying business records to conceal hush money payments: 50%

SOURCE: YOUGOV/YAHOO NEWS

64% of Americans regard the classified documents indictment as very serious and that arguably caused a 3.6% drop in Mr. Trump’s favorability. Since greater numbers of Americans regard the charges related to January 6th as very serious, it follows that Mr. Trump will suffer a larger drop in favorability due to them.

We also must consider once the trials start and more evidence is presented. Mr. Trump’s armor is appearing to break, yet I contend that barring a formal charge or something unprecedented, he’s the Republican presidential nominee for 2024.

The quest remains, can he defeat an unpopular President Biden?

Again, thanks to FiveThirtyEight, we can compare Mr. Biden to Mr. Trump’s net favorability ratings at the same point in their presidencies. Mr. Biden is at -13.2, while Mr. Trump is at -12. Yikes.

Interest in Hunter Biden’s business dealings and scandals are gathering steam, at least among Republican circles. However, Reuters/Ipsos reports that Hunter Biden’s plea agreement has “no impact” on 58% of Americans’ votes in 2024. It’s possible that Mr. Biden could face impeachment charges during the presidential campaign, but at this point, Republicans have their work cut out for them to provide more evidence and convince voters that President Biden enriched himself through his son’s corruption, which should matter as much as Mr. Trump’s investigations and indictments.

In the unprecedented situation that Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden are removed from the race, then we could witness the unpopular Vice President Kamala Harris versus the tanking Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. That would be a contest of “who do you hate less?” to the utmost degree.

Once again, we have the choice of a giant douche or a turd sandwich in the form of a smelly incumbent versus a rank challenger.

My nostrils are about to overload.

How about yours?

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Patrick McCorkle

I am a young professional with keen interests in politics, history, foreign languages and the arts.