Mar-a-Lago raid made Trump a ‘victim’, builds support: GOP strategist
The FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property made him a “victim” and boosted his support among GOP voters, a Republican strategist believes.
John Thomas told Insider that the Florida property search was a “turning point” event for Trump that led “people who loved him but could have softened with him to now run to his support or run in his defence.”
On August 8, the FBI, with the approval of Attorney General Merrick Garland, conducted the search as part of an investigation into whether Trump mishandled classified documents.
Trump and his allies blasted the raid, with the ex-president calling it part of an ongoing “witch hunt” targeting him.
As many Republicans criticized the FBI and rallied behind the former president following the raid, the event appears to have bolstered his support among GOP voters ahead of the 2024 election, at least for now.
A poll conducted by Morning Consult and Politico two days after the FBI raid showed Trump had his highest level of Republican support since losing the 2020 election, with 58% of GOP voters saying they would support Trump. former president if he stands for re-election in 2024. Nearly 70% of Republicans polled said they believed the raid was conducted primarily to harm Trump’s political career.
Another poll published by The Economist/YouGov found 57% of Republicans on Thursday holding a favorable opinion of the former president, up from 45% from the same poll taken the previous week.
Another recent poll by the conservative-leaning polling firm Rasmussen Reports shows that the Mar-a-Lago raid could also shake independents’ confidence in the FBI. He revealed that 46% of voters who do not identify with the two main political parties trust the agency less after the event.
While some Republicans targeted the FBI after the raid, other party members defended it and warned against targeting the agency, which has seen an increase in violent threats in recent days.
Earlier this week, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican from Illinois, called the threats against the FBI “ridiculous.”
“It’s obviously ridiculous for what the former president did, saying ‘It’s an attack on my house, I didn’t do anything wrong’, and of course, from what little we know , it certainly seems like there were good reasons for the FBI to have done what they did,” Kinzinger said.
Newsweek contacted Trump’s press office for comment.