Colorado Trump ruling can give new fuel to his campaign: experts

Former President Trump is taking to social media with a message for his supporters.

“They just removed me from the ballot! Chip in now to show your support,” the former president wrote in a fundraising pitch by his campaign that has been posted multiple times on his Truth Social network.

Trump’s pitch came in the wake of this week’s ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court to remove him from the state’s 2024 ballot.

The divided court ruled that Trump is ineligible to run for the presidency under the U.S. Constitution’s insurrection clause, arguing that his actions fueled the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by right-wing protesters aiming to disrupt congressional certification of President Biden’s 2020 election victory.


The blockbuster development was immediately condemned from nearly all corners of the GOP. Additionally, Trump’s Republican rivals for their party’s presidential nomination – who are aiming to defeat him at the ballot box – quickly rallied around the former president.

For most candidates, getting booted off the ballot would sink a campaign, but not Trump, who has long defied conventional norms and wisdom.


Trump made history earlier this year as the first former or current president to be indicted for a crime, but his four indictments — including in federal court in Washington, D.C., and in Fulton County court in Georgia on charges he tried to overturn his 2020 presidential election loss — have only fueled his support among Republican voters. With less than a month to go until the first votes in the White House race, Trump remains the commanding frontrunner for the GOP nomination as he runs a third straight time for the presidency.

“It’s another boost for President Trump with the base of the party,” seasoned Republican strategist and communicator Ryan Williams said. “Every time he’s targeted by legal actions, it just improves his standing with the conservative base.”

Michael Dennehy, a veteran New Hampshire-based Republican consultant who has worked on multiple presidential campaigns, said the Colorado case and his many legal entanglements have “helped him immensely among Republican primary voters. It solidifies Trump’s message that he is a victim.”


It is not just Republicans who say Trump will benefit politically.

“All the legal challenges that have been thrown at Trump have so far helped strengthen him in the Republican primary, as he depicts himself as a victim. CO will be the same,” David Axelrod, who served as then-President Obama’s top political adviser, wrote on social media. “What seems like Kryptonite winds up being battery packs in the GOP primary.”

Veteran Democratic strategist Maria Cardona, a Democratic National Committee member, said it helps “him continue to play the role of victim-in-chief.”

The Colorado case also helped the former president politically in another way; it once again bumped Trump to the top of the headlines.

“Right now Nikki Haley is surging in some polling, pulling into striking distance in New Hampshire, and that’s not dominating the headlines. Trump getting kicked off the ballot in Colorado is,” Williams emphasized. “It’s another instance of Trump getting a boost with his base and sucking up all the oxygen in the room.”

The Colorado justices put their ruling on hold until Jan. 4, as they anticipated that the former president would appeal their ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. That is what the Trump campaign is in the process of doing, as it blasts the move in Colorado.

“Everyone now is on the edge of their seats, waiting for the Supreme Court to decide on this Colorado case and then the likely impact that it will have on every other case around the country,” Dennehy said.

The Colorado ruling is far from an isolated case. Roughly a dozen other states have pending challenges.

Legal challenges to try dumping Trump from the ballot in Minnesota, Michigan and Florida were dismissed recently in state and federal courts.

However, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruling last month – keeping Trump on the primary ballot – noted that the petitioners could try again to knock the former president off the general election ballot.


While the Colorado ruling does not apply to other states, it could embolden others to take similar actions.

President Biden this week weighed in on the news, telling reporters that Trump “certainly supported an insurrection. There’s no question about it. None. Zero … He seems to be doubling down on everything.” 

“Whether the 14th Amendment applies, I’ll let the court make that decision,” the president added.

The question looking ahead to next November is whether swing voters will agree with Biden or buy into Trump’s narrative that he is being politically persecuted.

“You know, we talk about democracy, but the whole world is watching the persecution of a political opponent that’s kicking his ass,” Trump charged during a speech a week ago in New Hampshire as he pointed to Biden.

Williams noted that “if the Colorado decision’s overturned by the Supreme Court, it still gives Trump a talking point heading into the general election that he is a victim of political persecution. Whether that’s correct or not, it is another instance that he can point to say that he’s being targeted because of his political beliefs.”

However, Cardona said “I don’t think it will play because the majority of Americans believe that he participated in an insurrection.”

Additionally, if the Supreme Court surprisingly upholds the Colorado decision, Williams says, “then all bets are off. Red states are going to try to throw Joe Biden off the ballot as blue states will do the same for Trump.”

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