buruma203_Brandon BellGetty Images_trump Brandon Bell/Getty Images

For the Love of Trump

Criminal indictments in two federal cases, and another on charges brought by the state of New York, have not dented the former US president's popularity with Republican voters. What explains the tenacity of his grip on so much of the American electorate?

NEW YORK – It shouldn’t make sense. Donald Trump has just been indicted on four criminal charges, including defrauding the United States and conspiring to deprive Americans of their voting rights. Trump also faces 40 charges, including violations of the Espionage Act, in a Florida federal court and 34 felony counts in New York related to hushing up a sex scandal. Despite it all, Trump’s position as frontrunner to be the next Republican candidate for the presidency appears unassailable. According to one recent poll, he is 37 percentage points ahead of his closest rival, Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida.

That the former president might end up in prison doesn’t seem to bother his supporters at all. Zero percent of his hardcore supporters think he has done anything wrong, which is odd. Odder still is that 43% of Republicans apparently think “very favorably” of him.

DeSantis, who admittedly seems so uncomfortable in his own skin that he makes other people feel uncomfortable watching him, is failing to outflank Trump on the right. But Chris Christie, a slightly more appealing politician (now polling at 2%), has had even less success by projecting a more moderate image.

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