Four Questions About Donald Trump

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There are four questions nearly all Americans of voting age are asking themselves about former president, Donald Trump:

  1. Will he win the Republican presidential nomination?
  2. Will he win the general election against President Joe Biden?
  3. Will he be found guilty of any of the most serious crimes for which he has been indicted?
  4. How will he be punished for these crimes?

1. Will He Win The Republican Presidential Nomination?

The answer to the first question is a slam-dunk. Of course, he will win the Republican nomination. Well more than half the Republican voters prefer him to all the rest of his Republican rivals combined. So, his winning the Republican presidential nomination is a complete no-brainer.

2. Will He Win The General Election Against President Joe Biden?

Moving right along, will he beat Joe Biden in 2024? Well, for starters, Trump and Biden have been consistently tied in the polls. So, at least on the surface, the election could be a real nail-biter.

But there’s another way of looking at the election. To begin with, let’s concede that at least two-thirds of the registered Republicans will vote for Trump. The bulk of these voters are the MAGA schmucks, and there’s also quite a sizeable contingent of wealthy Republicans who consider Trump a useful idiot — a guy who will keep their taxes low and cut back on what they consider bothersome government regulation, especially in regard to environmental protection.

There is also a very sizeable segment of Republican voters who are not just afraid that Trump will cut off our military aid to Ukraine, but that he is far too cozy with Russian dictator, Vladimir Putin. And there is even a sizeable Republican contingent that genuinely fears that if elected, Trump will destroy our democratic form of government.

Still, Trump will likely draw as much as two-thirds of the Republican vote in 2024. But that won’t be nearly enough to land him back in the White House.

The big question is: How will he do with the Independent voters? This is the swing group whose support has made the difference in nearly all recent presidential elections.

3. Will He Be Found Guilty Of Any Of The Most Serious Crimes For Which He Has Been Indicted?

It is common knowledge that with each new indictment, Trump’s support shoots up. But that burst of support is confined to MAGA Republican voters. If anything, these indictments depress Trump’s support among Independents. As for Democrats, not a lot of them will be voting for Trump as it is, so there won’t be much of a fall-off of Trump support in this group. To put it more philosophically, “You can’t get hurt falling out of a basement window.”

We have seen that with each new indictment, Trump’s numbers in the presidential polls shoot up. But just hold it there a second. Which polls are we looking at?

We are looking at polls of Republican voters. So yeah, it’s extremely unfair that the Biden Justice Department and Fani Willis, the “Democrat” District Attorney in heavily Democratic Fulton County, Georgia, have engineered indictments. Which just goes to show how the legal deck is stacked against a man who is constantly proclaiming, “I did nothing wrong!”

But what is going to really count here is not the reaction of the Republican voters – at least two-thirds of whom are going to vote for Trump even if he’s sitting in a jail cell. What’s really going to count is the reaction of the Independents – and to a much lesser degree – the rank-and-file Democratic voters.

4. How Will He Be Punished For These Crimes?

So far, we’ve been talking about the voters’ reactions to Trump’s indictments. But any convictions will be an entirely different matter. An indictment indicates a judgement of jurors that there is sufficient evidence to proceed with a trial. But a guilty verdict by a unanimous jury is, of course, much more serious. In at least three of the four cases, if found guilty, Trump will be given a substantial jail sentence. Indeed, he might even face spending the rest of his life behind bars.

How would voters – especially the Independents and Democrats – react to one or more guilty verdicts? Conceivably, even a sizeable number of non-MAGA Republicans might now find themselves unable to vote for Trump. How can you vote for a man found guilty of such serious crimes?

Trump may face as many as three trials before Labor Day of 2024. Just one guilty verdict – or even one hung jury – could easily push him off the electoral cliff, sealing a victory for Biden. My guess is that he will be spending the rest of his days in a low-security prison – perhaps one that even allows deliveries of take-out from McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken.