There is a group of Republicans in the Senate who are apparently growing increasingly worried that the investigation that special counsel Jack Smith is conducting into Donald Trump is doing more to help his presidential campaign than hurt it.
As such, these “Never Trumpers” are worried that if Smith continues to file new charges against the former president, it will only continue to boost both his poll numbers and his fundraising totals, which could ultimately solidify his standing as the far-and-away leader in the GOP primary field for 2024.
What’s more, this group of Republicans in the Senate are also worried that many prominent conservative personalities in the media, as well as ultra-conservatives in the House of Representatives, are using the Smith investigations as a way to magnify support for Trump.
And as they’re doing so, it’s making it very hard for people in the country to even hear from one of the other Republican presidential candidates.
One GOP senator who spoke to media outlet The Hill on an anonymous basis, said of the Never-Trumpers’ view on the former president and on Smith:
“They wish he would go away. They wish they would both go away.”
The same senator said there are constituents who are calling on their GOP colleagues to “stand by trump,” which has essentially turned the GOP primary into more of a referendum on Trump himself and the battles he has waged with the Department of Justice under President Joe Biden, rather than on a battle between Trump and the other GOP candidates.
He also added that so far, Smith is “absolutely” the best thing that the Trump campaign has going for it right now.
National polling data shows that this senator could be right, too.
At the end of March, Trump held a lead of only 15 points over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in the national polls. That was the day that news broke of the New York state criminal indictment against Trump, where he was charged with 34 felony crimes over his business dealings in the state.
In the four months since then, Trump’s lead over DeSantis – who consistently ranks in second place in national polls – has grown all the way to 33 points.
Another GOP senator told The Hill that the DOJ would only continue to boost the Trump campaign if it continues to add new criminal charges to what’s already been levied against him. That happened earlier this week, when the DOJ added charges to the classified documents case, and it’s possible they could bring further charges against Trump revolving around an investigation into his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.
That GOP senator commented:
“The things that one would have thought were disqualifying can be enhancing, can be improving your standing. I should explain to my constituents who complain that the Democrats are out to ambush Trump: ‘No, they want him to be [the] Republican nominee because he is the one who would lose.’”
He added that any new federal indictment against the former president “creates increased enthusiasm among his supporters and probably brings other voters along who see this as a rotten system.”