Maybe it's a sign?
Former President Donald Trump formally announced his third run for president on Nov. 15 — and the first three weeks of his campaign haven't exactly been smooth sailing. In fact, it's "hard to imagine a worse first month of a presidential campaign than Trump has had," Politico's Kyle Cheney noted. "It's been nothing but nightmares so far," agreed Alayna Treene at Axios. "He's faced setbacks in court, dismal polls, scandals of his own making."
Here's a short list of things things that have gone wrong for Trump since his Mar-a-Lago campaign rollout:
- Trump's handpicked Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker lost to Sen. Rafael Warnock (D-Ga.), capping a string of losses by controversial Trump-backed candidates whose defeats ensured Democratic control of the Senate and several key governorships, prompting many Republican lawmakers and voters to distance themselves from Trump.
- The Trump Organization, Trump's flagship family business, was convicted on all 17 counts of tax fraud and other financial crimes in a case brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvan Bragg. Bragg has also reportedly ramped up his office's sidelined criminal investigation of Trump himself, including hiring a former senior Justice Department official with a history of taking on Trump and his family businesses.
- Trump's call for the "termination" of parts of the Constitution so he could be declared winner of the 2020 election lost him more support from Republicans and conservative commentators, even previously stalwart defenders.
- Trump's dinner with Holocaust-denying white supremacist Nick Fuentes and Ye, formerly Kanye West, amid Ye's string of antisemitic comments, also prompted an exodus of former Republican supporters, especially Jewish Republicans.
- The House Ways and Means Committee got possession of Trump's closely guarded tax returns after the Supreme Court finally gave the green light, following years of litigation.
- The conservative U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ended an outside review of the documents the FBI seized from Mar-a-Lago in an August raid. That ruling allows federal prosecutors to go full steam on their investigation into Trump's handling of highly classified government documents.
- Attorney General Merrick Garland assigned the Mar-a-Lago documents case and other Trump-related federal investigations to a seasoned new special counsel, Jack Smith.
- Smith has issued a flurry of grand jury subpoenas to state and local officials in at least Arizona, Michigan, and Wisconsin, seeking any and all communications with Trump, his campaign, and a long list of aides, The Washington Post reports, signaling his office is homing in on Trump's role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.
On the upside for Trump, Axios' Treene writes, "GOP primary voters have proved immune to scandal and bad headlines as recently as Trump's last election bid."