Could Donald Trump's Trials Affect His Reelection Bid?: Kiplinger Economic Forecasts

So far, Trump's indictments haven't dented his popularity among Republican voters.

To help you understand what is going on leading up to the 2024 presidential election and what we expect to happen in the future, our highly-experienced Kiplinger Letter team will keep you abreast of the latest developments and forecasts (Get a free issue of The Kiplinger Letter or subscribe). You'll get all the latest news first by subscribing, but we will publish many (but not all) of the forecasts a few days afterward online. Here’s the latest...

The timeline for Donald Trump’s federal legal battles is getting clearer. One trial, related to possession of classified materials, has a start date of May 20, despite Trump’s demands for a delay until after the 2024 election. Another, concerning allegations of election interference, will have one soon. Special Prosecutor Jack Smith, who is also handling the classified docs case, has requested a Jan. 2 start date and requires 4-6 weeks to present evidence. 

This will inevitably distract Trump from running in the GOP primary. The Republican Iowa caucus is set for Jan. 15, and at least 40 states will hold their primary contests before Trump’s second federal trial begins. 

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But even a conviction may not stop Trump from winning the nomination. So far, his legal woes have only strengthened his position as the GOP front-runner. Nor would it necessarily bar him from winning and serving as president. Whether a president can serve from prison remains an untested legal question. 

It’s also possible the various legal cases won’t result in a conviction, bolstering Trump’s claims of being unfairly targeted by the federal justice system. Note that Trump also faces charges from prosecutors in New York and Georgia.

This forecast first appeared in The Kiplinger Letter, which has been running since 1923 and is a collection of concise weekly forecasts on business and economic trends, as well as what to expect from Washington, to help you understand what’s coming up to make the most of your investments and your money. Subscribe to The Kiplinger Letter.

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Matthew Housiaux
Reporter, The Kiplinger Letter
Housiaux covers the White House and state and local government for The Kiplinger Letter. Before joining Kiplinger in June 2016, he lived in Sioux Falls, SD, where he was the forum editor of Augustana University's student newspaper, the Mirror. He also contributed stories to the Borgen Project, a Seattle-based nonprofit focused on raising awareness of global poverty. He earned a B.A. in history and journalism from Augustana University.