Dr Dafydd Townley is a Teaching Fellow in the Faculty of Business and Law at the University of Portsmouth in England. He has written extensively on American politics for The Conversation, and has contributed to both BBC radio and television.
He is vice chair of the American Politics Group, the leading community in the UK associated with American politics and political history. His first book, The Year of Intelligence in the United States, was released in 2021 by Palgrave Macmillan of New York.
Commenting on Donald Trump's impending indictment, he said: "This indictment marks an historic moment in American politics. Any criminal charges, or even a jail sentence, will not stop Trump from running for office. He has previously stated that he would do so even if he was charged. Where it may affect his chances is the amount of time that he will need to commit to the charges laid against him. To date, his campaign has been relatively quiet, but it will need to gain momentum in the lead up to the Republican convention next summer.
"Trump’s immense popularity with Republicans will not be severely damaged by the court case. Polls show that most Americans believe that the investigation is politically motivated and think that Trump will be acquitted of the charges. A majority of Republicans believe that the indictment might improve his chances of re-election.
"Republicans will remain loyal to Trump because the Republican Party is still the party of Donald Trump. His base support has never fluctuated since 2016. Many of them feel he stands up for them when no-one else does. While the indictment might make some moderate Republicans rethink their loyalty to the former president, the MAGA Republicans will back him to the bitter end."
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