Donald Trump's call for protests if he is arrested this week is a gamble that may expose a major weakness that could cripple his bid to be the Republican party's 2024 presidential nominee should his supporters not show up.
That is the opinion of one Republican strategist as the country enters into uncharted territory where, for the first time, one of the major parties could end up with a national candidate at the top of the ticket who could be facing jail time before being sworn in.
According to a report from Politico, the former president is likely to gain support if he is arrested this week as he claims without providing evidence, but it could be short-lived.
With Trump twice calling for his supporters to take to the streets -- causing fears of more violence like the country witnessed on Jan. 6 -- his plea on Truth Social for his fans to "PROTEST PROTEST PROTEST" could blow up in two entirely different ways.
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On the one hand, another wave of violence would remind voters of the low point of his presidency when he incited an insurrection that would likely cripple him in the general election should he get through the GOP primaries.
On the other hand, if the crowds fail to show up, it will show that his support among conservatives is overstated.
As Politico is reporting, "It’s possible that Trump is overplaying his hand, with his call to 'Protest, take our nation back!' and with a rally on Saturday in Waco, Texas, the first of his 2024 campaign. If protests do not materialize — or if crowd sizes are paltry — 'it’ll show that the Trump movement is sputtering,' said one longtime Republican strategist who was granted anonymity to discuss the dynamics of the 2024 campaign."
"If Trump ends up facing multiple indictments, [GOP pollster Whit] Ayres said, it’s possible that primary voters who are at least open to other Republican presidential candidates will see him as having too much 'baggage.' But, he cautioned, no one fully can understand how it will all play out. After all, it’s never happened before," the report states.
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