'Teflon Don' Trump’s 'unprecedented legal woes' could be a 'strength' in GOP primary: report
Donald Trump (AFP)

Much to the dismay of Never Trump conservatives, former President Donald Trump has been an incredibly resilient figure in the Republican Party. Trump has been through two impeachments, the Mueller probe and the January 6, 2021 insurrection — and now, he is facing a 34-count criminal indictment and a variety of criminal and civil investigations.

But despite all that, Trump remains the frontrunner in the 2024 GOP presidential primary. A Morning Consult poll released in mid-May found that in a hypothetical matchup, Trump would defeat Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis by 43 percent. A CBS News/YouGov poll released earlier in the month found Trump leading DeSantis by 36 percent if the Florida governor enters the presidential race.

Trump has been called "The Teflon Don" because nothing sticks to him. Journalist Jake Lahut, in an article published by the Daily Beast on May 17, lays out some reasons why that name still applies to former president despite his "unprecedented legal woes."

"After years of anticipation that the law would catch up to Trump," Lahut explains, "two long-awaited shoes dropped for him at the start of the 2024 campaign: his indictment in a New York federal court over the Stormy Daniels hush money scandal, and a ruling that he was liable for sexual assault and defamation — to the tune of $5 million —against writer E. Jean Carroll. An indictment from a grand jury in Georgia over Trump's efforts to subvert the 2020 election could also happen any day now."

The journalist continues, "And yet, there are few indications that these seemingly seismic developments have changed the dynamic of the GOP primary — or broken through to a party that has already accepted a constant cloud of scandal as the price of admission to the Trump show. If anything, GOP voters seem enamored over Trump's renewed resilience."

The name "Teflon Don" is a play on words. The ex-president's first name is Donald, but it also means "don" as in mob boss — such as the Don Corleone character in "The Godfather."

Lahut stresses that "some Republicans" are "starting to think Trump's scandals — and his ability to swat them down in a day's news cycle — are actually a strength."