The FBI’s surprise search of former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home stirred up a hornet’s nest of anger among his loyal base, who are more determined than ever to help Mr. Trump win a second term in the White House.
But the raid, and any charges the Department of Justice may lodge against the former president, may trip up a third presidential campaign if Mr. Trump runs in 2024.
“The big political question is whether this galvanizes his base now, but ultimately turns off swing voters later,” Clarus Research Group President Ron Faucheux said.
Indeed, among Mr. Trump’s hardy base, enthusiasm for another Trump White House bid only grew stronger following the FBI raid on Monday.
Dozens of his supporters gathered along the causeway leading to Mar-a-Lago, waving Trump signs at passing cars and blaring the soundtrack played at Mr. Trump’s political rallies. They expressed shock and anger about the FBI search and said it reinforced the belief that Mr. Trump has been politically targeted by Democrats and needs to be re-elected to reform the FBI.
“I’ve been un-trustful of the government for years, but this is beyond anything I’ve ever seen and I’m 68 years old,” supporter Mary Ann Robinson said from the Mar-a-Lago causeway. “This is just total B.S. What is going on in our country?”
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Mrs. Robinson, who lives in West Palm Beach, said she continues to support Mr. Trump for her grandchildren. “I’m gonna go to my grave, saving the country for my granddaughters, that’s for sure,” she said.
A new poll of likely voters taken in the days following the raid found that 54% of Independent Voters believe “Trump’s political enemies” launched the FBI raid. Among Republicans, the number who saw political motivation behind the search rose to nearly 77%.
The poll by Conventions of State Action/The Trafalgar Group also found that the raid had, at least in the short term, motivated the majority of those surveyed to vote in the 2022 midterm election in November.