The harder Democrats hit Donald J. Trump, the higher his poll numbers go.
On June 8, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a federal indictment against Trump for allegedly mishandling classified records. But rather than sandbag Trump, Special Counsel Jack Smith’s 37 charges pumped helium into the reelection odds of America’s 45th president.
Trump’s Poll Numbers Rise Despite Indictment
Ten days later, ABC News anchor Jonathan Karl was astonished to see Trump rising in public opinion after becoming the first former president to face federal prosecution.
“A poll from Quinnipiac on a possible Biden/Trump matchup puts Biden at 48 percent, Trump at 44 percent,” Karl said on the June 18 edition of ABC’s This Week. “This is a poll, again, taken largely after the indictment. I mean, that’s going to make you — that’s within the margin of error. That’s a statistical tie. What does that say about Biden if he’s barely beating [Trump] or in some polls actually losing?” (READ MORE: Donald Trump Is the New Jimmy Stewart)
Trump’s showing is even more impressive when compared to that of his rivals for the GOP nomination.
In April, an NBC News survey found that 46 percent of likely voters in the 2024 Republican primaries backed Trump’s return to the Oval Office versus 31 percent who want Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis behind the Resolute Desk. Trump’s 15-point lead was impressive but not staggering.
On Sunday, a new NBC News poll discovered that Trump is the choice of 51 percent of Republican primary voters, with DeSantis now at 22 percent. RealClearPolitics’ survey average shows Trump at 52.1 percent and DeSantis at 21.5 percent. Now, Trump’s 30.6 percent margin is officially staggering.
NBC also found tepid support for the other GOP contenders. The all-forgiving former Vice President Mike Pence scored 7 percent. Chris Christie — New Jersey’s treacherous, execrable, self-humiliating former governor — stood at 5 percent. South Carolina’s former chief executive and Trump’s United Nations ambassador, Nikki Haley, earned 4 percent. Trump’s other Republican opponents all trailed the envoy.
To enormous applause, Trump told the Faith and Freedom Coalition on Saturday: “I’m probably the only person in the history of this country that’s been indicted, and my numbers went up.”
Americans Think Indictment Is Politically Motivated
How does Trump remain buoyant in the face of potential federal imprisonment? He remains higher than a Chinese spy balloon for two reasons:
First, about half the country believes that the legal proceedings against Trump involve a Venezuelan-style abuse of the justice system intended to hobble him for partisan purposes.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and Attorney General Merrick Garland confirm that America is now cursed with a Heaven-and-Hell justice system: Heaven for Democrats and Hell for Republicans. Equal justice under the law is dead, and Democrats murdered it.
Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, James Comey, former Clinton National Safety Council Chief Sandy Berger, former CIA Director John Deutch, FBI official Kevin Clinesmith, and other Democrats illegally mishandled classified documents, and nothing, or barely anything, happened to them. None of these people had the power to declassify anything, nor did any of them spend even an afternoon behind bars.
Meanwhile, Trump stored classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago residence. He did have declassification authority as president and the court-confirmed right to keep whichever presidential papers he, and only he, wished. Regardless, the FBI raided his home, and, before long, Trump got indicted.
This massive unfairness has rallied the GOP base and even made some independents and Democrats empathize with Trump. Relentless Democrat legal harassment has turned the steamroller-like Trump into a sympathetic figure.
A June 20 CNN poll found that, regarding the role that “politics played in the decision to indict Trump,” 71 percent of Americans believe that the DOJ acted politically. This included 53 percent of Democrats, 67 percent of independents, and 92 percent of Republicans. Fully 54 percent of respondents said that political motives played “a major role” in the charges against Trump.
In a Harvard CAPS/Harris study released on June 16, 56 percent of respondents called Trump’s indictment “[i]nterference by the Department of Justice in the 2024 election.” Among Democrats, 32 percent agreed with that statement, as did 51 percent of independents and 84 percent of Republicans.
Second, after almost two and a half years of Joe Biden’s presidency, Americans are appalled at the fine mess he has made. From inflation to the U.S.–Mexico “border,” crime, energy, diplomacy, defense, national unity, and much more, everything Biden touches heads south more quickly than gravity can pull it down.
Americans remember Trump’s strength — how the economy boomed, the border was under control, and Russia, China, North Korea, and the Middle East behaved themselves on Trump’s watch.
Now look at this place!
“There’s never been an economy the likes of which we built,” Trump told Newsmax TV host Eric Bolling Monday night. “We had something for every single group of people — black, white, everybody, Hispanic, women, men. Everybody was at the top of the line.
“Whether you had a high school diploma, you graduated number one in your class from the Wharton School of Finance. Everybody was doing well. It was an amazing period of time. And I think that’s why my poll numbers are so high, because people want it back.”
President Trump’s lofty poll numbers are both a call for equal justice and a cry for help.
Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor.