Obsessed with horse-race politics, the media last week set a narrative that it was, to quote one commentator, it was a “bad week for Ron DeSantis because it was a good week for Donald Trump.”
“Ron DeSantis isn’t officially running for president yet, but he just suffered through the kind of week a candidate for the highest office in the US would love to forget,” Bloomberg reported.
“The Florida governor has been seen as the most formidable potential challenger to former President Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican nomination. Yet DeSantis’s early advantage has eroded following miscues over Ukraine policy and as Trump pushed himself back into the spotlight by calling for protests against his potential indictment in New York.”
Now it looks like the media is ready to back to Donald Trump having a “bad week.”
Following lackluster fundraising, a new poll by PBS and NPR shows that Americans are not buying that investigations into the president’s alleged many wrongdoings are, in his words, “a witch hunt.”
Marist Polling writes, “Former President Donald Trump is engulfed in multiple investigations, including probes into a hush-money coverup, election interference, his handling of classified documents, and his involvement in the January 6th events at the U.S. Capitol. And, a majority of Americans think these investigations are fair. While most Americans do not go so far as to say Trump did something illegal, they do think Trump engaged in some type of wrongful activity. Trump’s legal woes mount as he campaigns for another term in office – a presidential bid that more than six in ten Americans do not want.
A majority of Americans (56%) think the investigations into former President Donald Trump are fair. 41%, though, consider the probes to be a “witch hunt.” Perceptions align closely with partisanship with 87% of Democrats and 51% of independents reporting the investigations are above board. Nearly one in five Republicans (18%) agree. Most Republicans (80%), though, think the investigations are a “witch hunt.”
Most Americans perceive Trump has engaged in improper behavior. A plurality of Americans (46%) think the former president has done something illegal, and an additional 29% consider Trump to have done something unethical but not illegal. Only 23% of Americans say Trump has done nothing wrong.
Most Democrats (78%) consider Trump’s actions to be illegal. While majorities of Republicans and independents perceive wrongdoing by Trump, there is less consensus about the criminality of his actions. 41% of independents say Trump did something illegal, and 33% consider his actions to be unethical but not criminal. While 45% of Republicans think Trump did nothing wrong, 10% say Trump broke the law, and 43% believe he engaged in unethical behavior.
While the polling shows that Trump is less popular with most of the country, he remains deeply popular with Republicans.
The Hill noted, “Although the former president has yet to be indicted in the investigation, he and his allies went on the offensive against Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg, framing his investigation as a political attack designed to damage Trump as he again campaigns for president.
An overwhelming majority of Republicans in the survey, 80 percent, thought the investigations were a witch hunt. That is opposed to the 87 percent of Democrats and 51 percent of independents who thought the probes were fair.
The other investigations into Trump include the federal inquiry into his actions around the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riots and his handling of classified information, a Georgia investigation into his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the state, and a New York state civil lawsuit that alleges Trump and his business inflated the value of his real estate assets.
A plurality of respondents to the survey thought that Trump had done something improper. Forty-six percent of respondents believed the former president had done something illegal, while 29 percent thought he had done something unethical but not illegal. The poll surveyed 1,327 adults and had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.”
The polling shows the problem that face Republicans as the campaign for 2024 gears up. Much of the party is still happy to support the former president, but his popularity with the broader public may lead to a second Joe Biden term.
Luckily for the GOP, but maybe unlucky for us, there will likely be at least another year of back-and-forth between Trump and DeSantis.
Expect the media to continue to declare who’s having a bad week, as if running for president is a sporting event and they’re ESPN commentators searching for ratings rather than treating the primary for what it is: a long campaign hoping to win supporters and earn delegates to the 2024 Republican National Convention.
[Read More: Powerful Dems Throws Hat Into Ring For 2024]