The former president has long held a commanding lead over his rivals in the party, however mounting legal challenges ahead of the primaries could spell trouble.
"If somehow he’s not the nominee, it will hurt turnout," strategist Brian Darling told The Hill, pointing out that Trump "brings a lot of nontraditional voters to the Republican Party."
He suggested that it would be "difficult" for the GOP to drum up support in the Midwest. The party could "lose all those Trump voters or make them disaffected voters, and they don’t show up." Those sentiments were shared by fellow strategist Matt Dole, who said MAGA Republicans would simply refuse to vote for another candidate. As one of the largest voting blocks within the GOP, such voters not showing up could have a profound impact on the election.
Darling, along with many other strategists, predicted that the only possible way Trump loses the nomination is if "he's prevented from being on the ballot" as a result of his numerous criminal trials.
Trump has been hit with a slew of charges after being indicted in connection with the January 6 riot, his alleged mistreatment of classified documents, and the alleged falsification of business records. In Washington, DC, the former president is facing charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against rights.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is seeking to add to his legal woes this week with yet another indictment, this time regarding alleged attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election in Georgia.
Nonetheless, Trump continues to dominate the field of Republican primary contenders, routinely polling over 50 percent. His next closest competitor, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, has slipped as of late and currently sits at around 10 percent.
While most of the other candidates have signed a pledge vowing to support whoever becomes the nominee, Trump has refused, suggesting he's confident he will pull out a win.
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