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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Convicting Trump was the Best Donation to His Campaign

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When The Messenger took the trip into New York City last week to witness history outside Trump Tower, we weren’t exactly sure what we would see. We figured, at the very least, most of the crowd would be protesting Trump and celebrating his conviction, while what little Trump supporters were there would be targeted for their red hats and campaign merchandise. We were certainly hoping there wouldn’t be physical altercations there, but we weren’t ruling it out, as that’s unfortunately a reality of some venues of modern political discourse.
We couldn’t have been more wrong in what we saw. Not only was the crowd civil and no violence was waged from either party, the Trump supporters easily outnumbered the Trump protestors about ten-to-one. Flags, hats, signs, and other paraphernalia were fully on display on Fifth Avenue, as only a couple signs protesting Trump were seen.


The other thing that should make Democrats nervous, not just in New York, but on a national scale, is the fact the pro-Trump crowd in NYC was majority-minority. Hispanic voters said that Trump is primed to win the Latino vote. Black voters said that many were “leaving the Democratic plantation” and backing Trump. Chinese-Americans who escaped Communist China said that the political persecution is all-too familiar from their homeland and are concerned to observe it in the United States.


From what we believe, putting Trump on the stand and convicting him over something that, frankly, every other president has done at some point – Bill Clinton, anyone? – is perhaps the best gift they could have ever given to his campaign.


Biden’s support among minority voters has been deteriorating since the start of his term, but now more than ever do some core Democratic voters find discomfort with the way things have been run. Ironically, Democrats preach a message of “institutional” bias or racism against minorities, especially regarding the justice system. If that’s true, then wouldn’t those people supposedly victimized by the system only identify with Trump as he’s being victimized simply for who he is?


Even non-Republicans admit this is a travesty. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., this year’s top Independent candidate said on X, formerly known as Twitter: “The Democratic Party’s strategy is to beat President Trump in the courtroom rather than the ballot box. This will backfire in November. Even worse, it is profoundly undemocratic.”


The DNC called him a “useful idiot” in response. Typical.


Congressman and former long-shot presidential candidate Dean Phillips (D, MN-03) listed all of Trump’s faults on X, before saying that Governor Hochul (D-NY) should pardon him. He doubled down on his comments, diffusing claims of sarcasm, by writing:


“You think pardoning is stupid? Making him a martyr over a payment to a porn star is stupid. (Election charges are entirely different.) It’s energizing his base, generating record sums of campaign cash, and will likely result in an electoral boost.”


Phillips is seeing the writing on the wall.


Think others aren’t? Governor Hochul (D) directed the MTA to suspend the congestion pricing plan in NYC. Everyone, including Democrats, was quick to call her out on the election-year stunt, which amounts to nothing more than damage control to keep voters at least somewhat complacent about the weights of their pocketbooks going into the polls in November. After all, “it’s the economy, stupid.”


Furthermore, The Messenger was able to pick the brains of legal counsel, and the unanimous opinion is that Judge Juan Merchan’s operation of his courtroom is truly unconventional. Not requiring a unanimous agreement to deliver a guilty verdict is unprecedented. We believe that Merchan made such a staggering rule change to extort the outcome he wanted. If there’s no point in being unanimous, the jury might as well just all vote guilty and head home. No deliberation, no sequestering, no debate until a verdict is reached. Wasn’t that the premise of Twelve Angry Men? Why wasn’t Trump afforded a fair shake in the eyes of the justice system?


Perhaps the blindfold wasn’t covering the eyes of Lady Justice as it typically does. But that hasn’t slowed Trump’s momentum one bit. In the twenty-four hours after the verdict, Trump recorded a staggering $54 million in campaign contributions – a new record. Trump had already eclipsed Biden’s April fundraising numbers, but now he is cruising past him, all while the polls continue to tighten in blue states.
Virginia, New Hampshire, and Minnesota now no longer display the decent leads for Biden they once did. Biden seems to be in such a deficit in Nevada, Georgia, and Arizona, that it’s a tough feat for him to close those gaps by Election Day. Florida, Iowa, Ohio, and Texas aren’t even remotely in play this year.


But that’s not where it stops. Biden has aggregate single-digit leads in New Jersey, Illinois, and Colorado. Single-digit polls continue to come out in New York, Washington state, and even Hawaii. In fact, Trump leads the aggregate in Maine, a state that has not backed a Republican since 1988.


The electoral map could not favor Trump more. Andrew Giuliani told The Messenger that he now sees a path to 360 electoral votes for Trump. This would include all of the swing states and battlegrounds he won in 2016, which would give him 307 votes, as well as those he didn’t win: Nevada, Minnesota, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Colorado, and Virginia, which would put him at 357. At this point, New Jersey seems like the best bet for him, as New Jersey residents told The Messenger last week that they believe Trump will carry the Garden State this fall. That would put him past 360 at 371, a landslide win of proportions we have not seen in over a generation.


At this point, we’re simply prognosticating. Maybe it’s New Jersey and not Colorado, maybe Connecticut or Oregon gets in the mix. The point is, from what we’re seeing on the ground and from the data, Giuliani’s figure is grounded in reality.


If New York were able to enter the fold, an admittedly tough task for Trump, that would likely mean Trump has far surpassed 400 electoral votes.


Still, the election is five months away, and that’s an eternity on the campaign trail. All we can say is that the profound legal circumstances of this case appear to be delivering a profound effect on one of the most important elections of our lifetime.

The Editorial Board
The Editorial Boardhttps://www.messengerpapers.com
The Messenger Papers Editorial Board aspires to represent a fair cross section of our Suffolk County readers. We work to present a moderate view on issues facing Long Island families and businesses.