Electability’s Last Stand

Former President Donald Trump speaks to the media at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport after being booked at the Fulton County jail on August 24, 2023. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A lightbulb went off in my head when news broke that Donald Trump will stand trial in Washington on March 4, 2024 for crimes related to his post-election “Stop the Steal” campaign. “That’s the day before Super Tuesday,” I chirped in the Dispatch Slack channel.

To which a colleague replied, “He’ll have it all locked up by then, Nick. Don’t worry.”

Well, yes. Probably.

One could argue that March 4 is a fortuitous bit of scheduling for the defendant-in-chief, relatively speaking. It’s not ideal—for obvious reasons, he’d prefer to have each of his trials pushed off until after the election—but it beats having to face a jury before any ballots are cast. By March 4, the hugely influential first primaries will have already taken place and early voting in Super Tuesday races will be underway. All those votes will be banked before anything can happen in court that might change Republican voters’ minds.

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