The historic guilty verdict will not legally prevent former US President Donald Trump from continuing his campaign for the White House, but it could seriously impede his chances of winning as many polls have shown some of his supporters could desert him which could prove costly in a closely elected race that the 2024 election is expected to be.

A recent poll by Reuter and Ipsos showed that 13 per cent of respondents who said they will vote for Trump prior to his conviction will not vote for him if he was held guilty in any one of the four criminal cases against him, now three with the conclusion of the hush money case ending in conviction. And the same poll showed that 21 per cent of Republicans said they will not vote for him if he was convicted.

Trump leads President Joe Biden by a narrow margin of 0.9 per cent in the RealClearPolitics average of polls and the desertion of a sizable number of his supporters severely imperil his prospects.

The other three cases -- mishandling of classified papers, involvement in the January 6 assault on US Congress and attempt to change the outcome of the presidential election outcome in Georgia state- are not going into trial before the November elections.

But the New York cases were pronounced by legal experts on both sides of the aisle as the weakest of them. A conviction in this case, therefore, could sound alarm bells in the ranks and files of the Republican party -- the leadership is packed with Trump relatives (daughter-in-law Lara Trump is the co-chair of the top decision-making body) and supporters.

The Trump campaign has responded with predictable bravado with its surrogates telling TC news channels that there was a massive spike in online donations immediately after the verdict. They were not asked and they did not specify if these were return donors or first time Republican donors who were incensed enough by the conviction to pull out their wallets.

The 2024 presidential election will be decided by a handful of swing states that Biden won in 2020 by slim margins, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia and Nevada. Trump leads Biden in polls in most of these states now, but a conviction could eat up the margin.

An acquittal, alas, would have allowed Trump to restate what he has said all along that this and the other three cases are all politically motivated to prevent him from winning a second term. And he will use it to tighten his grip on Republican voters and strive to pry away Biden's voters, which he has already started. He was in New York's Bronx, which has a coloured majority, appealing directly to Hispanic and Black voters.

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But Trump might be more focussed on his appeal petition now.

Biden's loosening hold on Black voters has been worrying Democrats and the President and Vice-President Kamala Harris launched a drive on Wednesday to win back these key voters at a rally in Pennsylvania.

(Except for the headline, this story, from a syndicated feed, has not been edited by Odishatv.in staff)

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