ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — This Week in Politics…Former President — and current 2024 candidate — Donald Trump was arraigned on felony charges in NYC, where investigators allege he falsified business records related to hush money payments during his first campaign for president.
So what does this mean for his third bid for the White House?
Well, since the unsealing of the indictment Republicans have coalesced around him, echoing his sentiment that they believe the investigation into him is politically motivated.
Campaign-wise — we all know political races are about cash and Trump's 2024 campaign says they’ve brought in more than $12 million in donations since news of his indictment.
Some polls are reflecting a boost to Trump’s campaign as well. In a recent Reuters/Ipsos online poll of about 700 Republicans, 48% said Trump should be the nominee in 2024, that's up from their poll taken before the indictment.
In second was Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at 19%. Now, DeSantis isn't officially in the race, though many expect him to be—and he too has proven to be a strong fundraiser. DeSantis also edged out Trump in a poll of Florida voters.
But how will this recent post-indictment boost to Trump, impact DeSantis' plans?
“I honestly believe that for the first time ever, and I still put him at 90% chance that he's going to run. I believe there is some conversation that Ron DeSantis may have to wait until 2028 to run for president,” says Peter Schorsch, publisher of Florida Politics.
“DeSantis, I think, is kind of frozen out from attacking Trump at this point, from gaining ground right now and so we're seeing Donald Trump widen his lead,” added Schorsch.
Schorsch, a former Republican operative in Florida says DeSantis advisors have not changed their plans for a potential campaign rollout, and he anticipates he will announce around Memorial Day after Florida’s legislative session wraps up.
“I've been circling Memorial Day weekend like I'm a movie producer with a big 'Transformers' movie coming out,” Schorsch said.
DeSantis also picked up an endorsement this week from Kentucky GOP Rep. Thomas Massie. The next day, Trump received an endorsement from Florida GOP Rep. Byron Reynolds.
DeSantis spent his Thursday in Michigan, talking to a crowd of GOP legislators and supporters.
In Tallahassee, the Legislature is taking a break for Easter and Passover, after the Senate passed a controversial measure to restrict abortion in the state after 6 weeks of pregnancy.
That night, 11 protestors were arrested outside the state Capitol, including Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Nikki Fried and Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book (D-Plantation).
Fried talked with 10 Tampa Bay after her arrest, she also tweeted in the hours after, the Florida Democratic Party raised the most money they've raised in a single day since the day before the November Election.
The bill will need to pass the House before it heads to the governor's desk.