Former President Donald Trump’s campaign released post-indictment polling data showing Trump gaining support in the 2024 GOP primary and leading President Joe Biden in a likely general election matchup. More primary and general election voters said they would vote for Trump because of his indictment.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg indicted Trump over a series of “hush money” payments the former president made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election.
The poll from Trump’s pollster, John Mclaughlin, CEO of the polling company Mclaughlin & Associates, shows Trump gaining support after being indicted.
The survey included 1,000 general election voters and began moments after news broke out of Trump’s indictment. It found Trump leading Biden 47-43%. Mclaughlin noted that his indictment didn’t change data from a survey he conducted earlier in 2023.
In the GOP primary, however, Trump’s lead has grown over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who is said to be his “rival.” Among 14 hypothetical and current candidates, Trump received 51% support, while DeSantis’s support has dropped by over 20%. Since Mclaughlin’s polling data in January 2023, 18 points have swung away from DeSantis to Trump.
“In a full-field ballot test of 14 potential Republican candidates, President Trump leads with 51%, DeSantis 21%, Mike Pence 6%, Nikki Haley 4%, and everyone else is at 2% or less,” McLaughlin wrote in the memo. “In our January survey, President Trump led the field with 43%, and DeSantis was at 31%. Trump’s lead has gone from 12 points to 30 points.”
2024 National Republican Primary
Trump — 51%
DeSantis — 21%
Pence — 6%
Haley — 4%
Romney — 2%
Cheney — 2%
Pompeo — 1%
Youngkin — 1%
Christie — 1%
T. Scott — 1%
Sununu — 1%
Trump — 63%
DeSantis — 30%
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) April 2, 2023
In a hypothetical matchup against DeSantis, Trump’s support has reached over 60%, while DeSantis’ has fallen from 40-30% since then.
In January 2023, respondents were asked, “if the 2024 Republican Primary Presidential election were held today, which one of the following best describes how you would vote in the Republican Primary election for President between Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis?”
More than 50% of respondents said they would vote for Trump, while more than 40% said they prefer DeSantis.
Regarding Mclaughlin’s latest poll, Trump has tripled the margin between him and DeSantis, representing a 22-point swing against DeSantis and toward himself since the start of 2023.
While those numbers represent good news for Trump’s campaign, the most impressive statistic in Mclaughlin’s poll is when primary and general election voters are asked how they feel about Trump’s indictment.
When asked if they would be more or less likely to vote for Trump because of Bragg’s indictment, 57% of GOP primary voters said it makes them more likely to vote for Trump, while less than 10% said it makes them less likely to vote for him, and 31% said the case was irrelevant in their vote.
Polling data from the Trafalgar Group/Convention of States Action was similar to Mclaughlin’s. In a general election, 48% of respondents agreed when asked if they felt that Biden “and the radical left have weaponized the justice system to prosecute their political opponents.” Only 39% disagreed, while 14% were unsure.
More than 80% of Republicans agreed with that sentiment: and 11% disagreed.
Recent Poll: 80% of Republicans said former president Donald Trump was facing a "witch hunt" from Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg's office, prosecutors in Georgia, and Special Counsel Jack Smith. https://t.co/7KZNHwFn6S
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) April 1, 2023
A majority of general election voters also agreed there is a double standard between prosecuting Biden versus Trump.
“Do you agree or disagree that under President Biden there is a double standard of criminal justice where the alleged Hunter Biden and Biden family corruption escapes indictments while President Trump is continually investigated for crimes to prosecute against him?” respondents were asked.
A majority of 55% agreed, while 33% disagreed, and 12% refused to answer. Among Republicans, 85% agreed, while only 10% disagreed.
More than 55% of general election voters agreed when asked if they thought Biden and “the radical left are making things worse and keeping the country divided” by “continuing to attack President Trump.” A slim 34% of respondents disagreed, and 10% remained unsure. Republicans, though, 86% agreed, while less than 10% disagreed.
More than 55% of general election voters agreed that “Joe Biden and the Democrats are spending too much time and resources going after Donald Trump with phony political attacks that are a waste of time and taxpayers’ dollars instead of trying to solve the country’s real problems on issues like the economy, inflation, crime, immigration and national security.”
Among Republicans, 88% agreed, while less than 10% disagreed.
Trump is the first former president in history to receive an indictment. Democrats celebrated when hearing the news. Bragg’s indictment of Trump, however, will only make Trump stronger.
As comedian Chris Rock said at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., indicating Trump “is only going to make him more popular.”