A Republican strategist thinks the FBI raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property made the former president look like a “victim” and increased his popularity among Republican voters.
“People who liked him but might have softened on him to now run to his support or run to his defense,” John Thomas told Insider of Trump’s reaction to the search of the Florida property.
On August 8, as part of their investigation into whether Trump mishandled classified documents, the FBI searched Trump Tower with the approval of Attorney General Merrick Garland.
The ex-president has claimed that the raid is part of an ongoing “witch hunt” against him, and Trump and his supporters have echoed this sentiment.
Many Republicans have condemned the FBI and come out in support of the former president since the raid, and this seems to have increased his standing with Republican voters ahead of the 2024 election.
Two days after the FBI raid, a poll by Morning Consult and Politico found that 58% of Republican voters said they would support the former president if he ran for reelection in 2024, Trump’s highest level of support among Republicans since he lost the 2020 election. In a survey of Republicans, 69% said they thought the probe was launched primarily to hurt Trump’s standing in the party.
On Thursday, The Economist/YouGov released their own poll, finding that the former president is viewed favorably by 57% of Republicans, up from 44% in the previous poll conducted one week prior.
Independents’ faith in the FBI may have taken another hit after the Mar-a-Lago raid, according to a recent survey conducted by the conservative-leaning Rasmussen Reports. After the event, the trust of 46% of voters who do not affiliate with either of the two major political parties decreased.
Although some Republicans have attacked the FBI since the raid, others have defended the bureau and warned their colleagues against doing the same.
Last week, Illinois Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger referred to the threats against the FBI as “ridiculous.”
To paraphrase Kinzinger: “It’s ridiculous obviously for what the former president has done, in terms of saying ‘This is an attack on my home, I did nothing wrong,’ and of course, from the little bit we know, it seems like there’s certainly good reasons for the FBI to have done what they’ve done.”
Trump’s press secretary has been contacted by Newsweek for comment.
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