Donald Trump faces new criminal indictments this week, the fourth set of charges made by prosecutors in five months.

The latest charge, unsealed by Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis, alleges that Trump conspired with top aides and allies in a racketeering scheme to oust Joe Biden by a narrow margin. Winning state 2020 election results.

But while Trump has acknowledged legal issues will keep him out of the 2024 campaign, they have actually boosted his standing in the Republican primary so far.

“As long as they indict, our polls will go up a lot,” Trump said at a Republican dinner in Alabama this month. “We need another indictment to end this election. Another indictment.” One indictment and this election is over. No one has a chance,” he said.

Trump’s lead has widened since first indictment

Since Trump faced his first criminal charges in New York in late March, his lead in the Republican primary has only grown.

At the time, Trump had the support of 45.3 percent of Republican primary voters to Ron DeSantis’ 27 percent — even though Florida’s governor has yet to declare his candidacy. Now the gap is even wider: 52.7 percent of Republicans backed Trump at the start of the week, compared with 14 percent for DeSantis, according to the FiveThirtyEight polling average.

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The indictments have piqued the interest of a conservative base that embraces Trump’s contention that he is the victim of a witch hunt. Meanwhile, few of Trump’s rivals dare attack him.

According to a recent New York Times/Siena poll, 71 percent of Republican primary voters believe the party should support Trump in his legal battle. The same percentage of voters in the party thought he had committed no serious crimes.

But five months before the first primary ballots in Iowa and New Hampshire, some Republicans are still counting on Trump’s legal troubles to finally overwhelm him to the benefit of his opponents.

The Growth Club, an influential conservative group opposed to Trump’s re-election, recently launched two ads in Iowa to capitalize on those feelings.

“I don’t think Trump is the likeliest candidate for 2024,” a former Trump voter said in the first ad. “He wakes up to maybe 50 emails from a lawyer about a current or potential indictment. That’s every day he’s living now,” he said.

“I think he’s going to do well, but I don’t know if we can get him elected,” said another person in the second ad, which was obtained by the FT. “I think it’s too risky for the country. Try someone else.”

The indictments helped Trump raise cash

Trump’s legal and political strategies are intertwined. His campaign fundraising increased immediately after the first two indictments, although the increase after the second was smaller than the first, according to federal filings.

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In the first Manhattan case, Trump is accused of falsifying business records to cover up “hush money” payments to porn stars ahead of the 2016 election. In the second case, Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith accused Trump of allegedly mishandling classified documents, including information about the U.S. nuclear program.

It’s unclear how many of the third or fourth cases — one in the federal state and one in Georgia; both allegations that Trump conspired to subvert the 2020 election — have boosted Trump’s fundraising efforts . But it’s sure to add to his legal bills. A Trump PAC has spent millions of dollars in legal fees this year and received $12.25 million in refunds from pro-Trump super PACs in May and June when its coffers Already empty.

Sponsored ads on Facebook ask Trump supporters to donate

A sponsored ad on Facebook asking for donations from Trump supporters © Facebook Advertising

Trump’s opponents are also trying to take advantage of the opportunity.

After the third indictment, former Vice President Mike Pence’s campaign sold T-shirts and hats emblazoned with “Too Honest” — a reference to Trump’s comments to Pence when he refused to overturn the 2020 election. so-called comments.

Scott Reed, co-chairman of the Commitment to America Pacific Alliance, which supports Pence, told the Financial Times that the group’s donations have “tripled every week” since the indictment, helping Pence meet Republican demands for a Secure a seat in the party. The first primary debate in Wisconsin this month “also puts us on track for the second primary debate.”

“The truth is simple — more and more people are now paying attention to Pence and his message,” Reid said.

Biden has not commented publicly on the investigations into Trump. But Trump has described these actions as a plot to damage his candidacy, writing on his “Truth” social media platform over the weekend that Biden “made the Trump campaign spend a lot of money on legal fees, thereby Spend less on advertising to show Biden is dishonest.” Joe is the worst president in our history! “

The allegations boost Trump’s media exposure

Donald Trump has turned to social media and traditional news outlets, especially cable news, to air his anger over the criminal charges and even preempt legal filings.

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It allowed Trump to dominate televised and online debates, sucking political oxygen away from his Republican rivals, even as attention focused on legal issues that could hamstring other candidates.

Trump’s 2020 campaign manager Bill Stepien said on “Yes Labels,” a podcast he co-hosts with Trump campaign veteran Justin Clark, that the indictments give Trump His Republican rivals present a “nightmare scenario.”

“What didn’t happen today? Didn’t happen yesterday? What didn’t happen tomorrow? Ron DeSantis was not asked about his record as governor, Nikki Haley Not being asked about her plans to tackle inflation, Tim Scott not being asked about his plans to stop China,” Stepien said. “And — quick news — they won’t be asked about these things for a very long time.”

Google searches for Trump spiked after each indictment, though the first indictment drew more attention than the latter two.

Meanwhile, Trump has made a splash during his court appearances, including two angry speeches after his arraignment flew back.

Cable news channels actively courted him. CNN held a controversial televised town hall meeting with Trump in May, and Fox, which seemed to distance itself from the former president, did an interview with him again in June, with anchor Brett Beyer. (Bret Baier) interview.

Trump told longtime Fox News host Sean Hannity: “What’s going on in our country, whether it’s the borders, the elections or whatever, it’s a disgrace that the Justice Department has become the Democratic Party’s Weapons, absolute weapons,” said the moderator in an interview last month in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “And . . . we’re ahead by a wide margin.”

While Trump’s advantage in the 2024 Republican primary has grown along with his legal troubles, Americans’ broader perception of him hasn’t changed much. Trump is now more popular than he was after the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riots, but only slightly. His popularity has declined only slightly since the first indictment in late March.

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According to FiveThirtyEight, about 40 percent of Americans have a favorable view of Trump, while 56 percent have a negative view.

For Republicans, they worry that Trump will be a drag on their party next year, as he has been in the past three elections in 2018, 2020 and 2022, when moderate and independent voters were critical of the former president. Position, style and preferred candidates are indecisive.

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Many Democrats have long believed that Biden would have an easier time defeating Trump in a general election rematch than a new or younger Republican candidate. But polls show Biden with only a narrow lead over Trump in a head-to-head contest. The Democratic president agonized by his own low approval ratings and doubts about his age, suggesting the race will be very close and once again decided in battleground states.

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