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Trump soars ahead of DeSantis in latest poll on eve of federal indictment

Former president’s hold on GOP primary voters appears to have strengthened after his indictment on mishandling classified documents

Bevan Hurley
Tuesday 13 June 2023 16:32 BST
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Trump waves as he boards plane to Miami arraignment

Donald Trump has extended his commanding lead over Florida governor Ron DeSantis in the latest Republican presidential primary poll.

The YouGov-CBS News poll showed the former president leading Mr DeSantis by 61 per cent to 23 per cent among likely GOP voters, with Tim Scott, Mike Pence and Nikki Haley all polling in low single digits.

The survey, conducted between 7 and 10 June, found no evidence that the former president’s indictment by a Florida grand jury on 37 federal charges of mishandling classified information had harmed his prospects among Republicans.

In fact, 14 per cent of respondents said that the criminal indictment had changed their view of Mr Trump for the better, and 61 per cent said it hadn’t changed their opinion. Seven per cent said they were less likely to vote for Mr Trump, and nearly one in five said it would depend on further developments.

Instead of being a disqualifier for the White House, four out of five GOP voters said Mr Trump should be able to become president even if he is convicted of endangering national security.

The survey was conducted both before and after Mr Trump’s latest charges were made public, and respondents were reinterviewed after the indictment was unsealed by the Department of Justice on Friday, CBS News reported.

Donald Trump’s support among GOP primary voters has increased as he has been indicted on federal charges of mishandling classified documents

Mr Trump’s consistent lead over the Florida governor has enjoyed a considerable bounce since his indictment on hush money payments in New York in April, according to analysis from FiveThirtyEight.

Mr Trump’s polling average has risen from 47 per cent among primary voters to 54 per cent over that period, while Mr DeSantis’s has declined from 28 per cent to 21 per cent.

The YouGov poll also found that three-quarters of GOP voters want a nominee similar to Mr Trump, if he drops out of the primary.

Donald Trump’s indictment has failed to shake his hold on Republican voters, a new YouGov poll shows

It also showed that GOP voters were far more concerned with economic issues such as inflation and lowering taxes than enacting a national abortion ban or limiting transgender rights.

A clear majority of Republicans would rather hear Mr Trump talk about his plans for the country than relitigate the 2020 election or the criminal investigations he is facing.

The poll shows Joe Biden’s approval rating remaining steady at 41 per cent.

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