After Donald Trump was arraigned on federal charges related to his alleged handling of top-secret government documents, the former U.S. president immediately took to the campaign trail.
Matthew Lebo, a Western University expert in American politics, says despite the serious nature of the charges, Trump remains the favourite to be the Republican nominee for the 2024 presidential election.
“There were periods in 2016 and 2020 when prominent Republicans spoke out against Trump following some incident or revelation but that always died down fairly quickly,” says Lebo.
He expects that for the moment most of the elites in Trump’s party will continue to support him regardless of his legal troubles, out of fear of alienating his base.
“The question is whether Trump’s competition makes inroads with Republican voters and so far there isn’t much evidence of that.” says Lebo.
As department chair of political science, Lebo’s research focuses on national level politics in the U.S., political parties in Congress, the presidency and elections. He has written about presidential approval, and strategic decisions political parties must make to balance electoral and legislative goals.
Commentary reflects the perspective and scholarly interest of Western faculty members and is not an articulation of official university policy on issues being addressed.
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