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Trump approval rating surges ahead of arrest

YouGov and Ipsos polls first since news of criminal charges against former president

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Tuesday 04 April 2023 17:13 BST
SNL parodies Donald Trump days after indictment

The findings of new polls conducted following the indictment of Donald Trump deliver both good and bad news for the former president.

In the latest Yahoo News/YouGov poll of 1,089 adults conducted over 30-31 March, Mr Trump dramatically widened his lead over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in a hypothetical Republican primary race face-off.

Mr Trump now leads Mr DeSantis 57 per cent to 31 per cent, up from a 47 per cent to 39 per cent edge last month. The Florida governor has not yet officially thrown his hat into the ring for the Republican nomination.

When other candidates were included in the polling, Mr Trump still garnered 52 per cent of the vote, while Mr DeSantis dropped to 21 per cent. Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley got five per cent of the vote, while former Vice President Mike Pence scored three percent, and Chris Christie and Mike Pompeo both earned two per cent.

In a head-to-head presidential race against incumbent President Joe Biden, Mr Trump was still bested by the Democrat 45 per cent to 43 per cent in a repeat of his 2020 loss.

In Florida specifically, Mr Trump was found to be at a slight disadvantage to Mr DeSantis in a poll released Tuesday (4 April) - the same day as the former president’s arraignment on charges in the Stormy Daniels hush money case.

The Mason-Dixon poll of Florida Republican voters concluded: “DeSantis is, by far, more popular than either Biden or Donald Trump. Statewide, 53% have a favorable opinion of DeSantis and 36% have an unfavorable view. Both Trump (39% favorable/50% unfavorable) and Biden (33% favorable/54% unfavorable) are underwater in the Florida.”

Mr Trump trailing at the national level may be connected to the findings of another poll by ABC News/Ipsos which shows that a plurality of Americans (45 per cent) believe it correct for the former president to have been charged with a crime in connection to the Manhattan District Attorney’s probe of his hush money payments.

In that poll of 593 respondents, taken between 30 March and 1 April, around half (49 per cent) of those polled also feel that Mr Trump should be charged with a crime for his actions related to the storming of the US Capitol on 6 January 2021, and (51 per cent) say he should for his efforts to change the 2020 election results in his favour.

Investigations into Mr Trump’s actions regarding those events and others continue.


Approximately one-third of those polled by Ipsos say he should not be charged over the Daniels affair, and about 20 per cent remain undecided, demonstrating that public opinion may not yet be fully formed on the topic as Americans wait to see the details of the indictment.

Rick Klein, political director of ABC News, noted that it was “striking how many people are reserving judgment — Republicans included”.

In light of criminal charges being brought against him, 43 per cent believe Mr Trump should suspend his presidential campaign — as new 2024 Republican contender Asa Hutchinson said when announcing his candidacy — while 35 per cent say he should not.

There is also considerable divergence in party affiliation regarding whether the charges are politically motivated. In total 47 per cent believe they are and 32 per cent say they are not, with 20 per cent undecided.

Only 16 per cent of Democrats say they are politically motivated, but 79 per cent of Republicans believe they are.

Independents lean towards believing in the existence of political motivation to the indictment (48 per cent), but as many as 18 per cent of independent respondents are yet to make up their minds.

Full details of the charges against Mr Trump were expected slated to be revealed at his arraignment on Tuesday.

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