Jun 1, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Vulnerable Republicans aren't sweating Trump verdict

(Photo by JUSTIN LANE / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN LANE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Vulnerable House Republicans said they don't see former President Trump's criminal conviction as a major threat to their re-election bids.

Why it matters: Several swing-district Republicans said the verdict may in fact help their odds of holding onto their seats, arguing it will rally the base in November.

  • Lawmakers and operatives noted that the House GOP campaign arm raked in over $300,000 on Thursday following the verdict.
  • One Republican House operative said they see the trial's outcome as an issue they can use against the five Democrats that represent districts Trump won. The operative argued Democrats "don't want to say anything, because of how motivating this is for Trump voters."
  • The House GOP's campaign arm put out a memo alleging "Trump District Dems HIDE After Verdict" in an effort to rally Republicans in the competitive districts.

What they're saying: Swing-seat members said they're hopeful it will help them with voter turnout next fall.

  • "I think this almost helps people who are so fed up with all this stuff — obviously it pissed off the Republican base so I think it helps us with the base getting out the vote," one frontliner told Axios.
  • Another member said: "We have great polling that's specific to districts that shows very little change with indictment. Both Trump and I are up almost double digits."
  • And one member said while they worry it may have a minor drag down ballot, they tell voters "all the major issues Biden's terrible on and Trump in most cases would be much better on policy."

The big picture: While Republicans largely were quick to defend Trump, Democrats are also looking to seize on the moment, with some taking to social media to take aim at swing-seat Republicans.

  • "So-called moderate House Republicans in New York have once again been exposed as extremists," House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) tweeted on Friday.
  • "They support lawlessness and disorder. We will hold them accountable in November."

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