OREM, Utah (KUTV) — A political science professor says news that former President Donald Trump has been indicted over his handling of classified documents at his Florida estate could galvanize his supporters.
Trump is already fundraising off of the issue, according to the Associated Press.
But Quin Monson, who studies campaigns and elections at Brigham Young University, said Trump’s latest legal troubles could also pose political problems for the former president as he moves ahead with another campaign.
Monson said the indictment could cause a certain part of the GOP electorate to begin to feel “Donald Trump fatigue.”
It could be that even the loyalists start to decide that they’ve had enough,” Monson said. “Maybe they think he’s being treated unfairly, but they don’t want to endure the spectacle of a sitting president fighting these legal battles when they can get the same kind of conservative policies out of another Republican candidate that has a lot less baggage.”
Monson said the entire situation is “unprecedented, like so many things are with Donald Trump.” He said that Trump fans and foes already have their opinions and will likely be unmoved by the news.
But the former president’s newest legal woes could come into play more acutely as the 2024 campaign intensifies, Monson said.
Donors are starting to think about who to give to. People are starting to think about who to volunteer for and work for in Iowa and New Hampshire and other places in these early states,” Monson said. “There are Republican voters that will start saying, you know, maybe [Florida Gov. Ron] DeSantis is a better option, or maybe I should look at [U.S. Sen.] Tim Scott or [former South Carolina Gov.] Nikki Haley or whatever.”
But, Monson added, this unprecedented situation could go any number of ways.
“Usually when we try to predict the future, we look to the past,” he said, “and we don’t have any past to look to here to understand what’s going to happen.”