Trump's Dominance of the GOP Explained.
How the polls explain Trump's post-indictment surge in the polls
On February 19th of this year, Donald Trump led Ron DeSantis by 2.4 points in the FiveThirtyEight polling average. Since then, Trump has been indicted four times for 91 separate felonies related to violations of the Espionage Act, racketeering, and several different types of fraud. And yet, Trump has expanded his lead to 40 points. Prior to the indictments landing, the conversation focused on how these counts would hurt Trump, but I’m not sure anyone thought getting repeatedly indicted would be such a massive boost. It’s possible the GOP primary may be over before it even begins.
A number of theories surfaced to explain this unexpected and deeply concerning outcome — Republicans are a cult, Ron DeSantis sucks, etc. Elections are dynamic enterprises. There are a lot of interrelated factors that lead to an outcome. It’s not as simple as “Ron DeSantis sucks,” even if he is one of the most maladroit candidates in modern political history. Here are X findings from recent polls that help explain why Republican voters are flocking to Trump as his likelihood of spending the rest of his life in prison skyrockets:
1. Republicans Trust Trump Over Everyone Else
Donald Trump is one of the most prolific and obvious liars the world has ever known. Here’s how the Washington Post fact checker summarized Trump’s presidency:
Over time, Trump unleashed his falsehoods with increasing frequency and ferocity, often by the scores in a single campaign speech or tweetstorm. What began as a relative trickle of misrepresentations, including 10 on his first day and five on the second, built into a torrent through Trump’s final days as he frenetically spread wild theories that the coronavirus pandemic would disappear “like a miracle” and that the presidential election had been stolen — the claim that inspired Trump supporters to attack Congress on Jan. 6 and prompted his second impeachment. The final tally of Trump’s presidency: 30,573 false or misleading claims — with nearly half coming in his final year.
Trump’s dishonesty is so blatant that most Americans find it disqualifying, but Trump’s voters see only qualifications. They do not believe he is dishonest. They think he is the only honest man in public life. A CBS News/YouGov poll asked Trump voters who they feel tells them the truth. Trump was seen as more truthful than friends and family or religious leaders.
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