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Jonathan Bernstein

Will Republicans Stick By Trump? Not Necessarily

An indictment of the former president will rally the troops, but their support could fade fast.

Not a typical campaign.

Not a typical campaign.

Photographer: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Donald Trump indictments are coming. First is an anticipated charge by the Manhattan district attorney over Trump’s alleged hush-money payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels. But Trump could soon face indictments in higher-stakes cases: in Georgia over efforts to overturn the 2020 election, and possible federal charges over his handling of classified documents and his role in the Jan. 6 siege at the Capitol.

Whatever form they take, Trump’s legal entanglements could shake up the presidential race. Republicans might initially rally around the former president as he and his supporters blame the legal action on partisan Democrats. Even Republicans who don’t want Trump to get the party’s presidential nomination, including his opponents, will find it politically convenient to slam the prosecutors.