Before he was indicted earlier this month, former President Donald Trump was leading in nearly every poll of the Republican nomination contest. Since the indictment, Trump has been leading the polls by even more.
Could that continue indefinitely, with the former president riding the very real threat of conviction and imprisonment to the Republican nomination? New polling data suggests it might not.
According to a new CNN poll, Donald Trump is still winning in the Republican race, but his top number has dropped since his indictment.
“Overall, 47% of Republicans and Republican-leaning registered voters say Trump is their first choice for the party’s nomination for president, down from 53% in a May CNN poll,” CNN said. In addition, Trump’s favorability among Republican-aligned voters has dropped from 77 percent in May to 67 percent in June. Also, a full 23 percent of Republican voters say they could not support him under any circumstances, from 16 percent in May.
However, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ 26 percent number is steady from a month ago, even though he was not an active candidate yet in May and now he is officially running. Former Vice President Mike Pence has 9 percent of the vote, Sen. Tim Scott has 4 percent, while another new candidate, former Gov. Chris Christie, has 3 percent, with every other candidate at 1 percent or lower.
Of those asked, 26 percent say that Trump should end his campaign following the announcement of the criminal charges against him. That’s a minority, but still more than a quarter of Republican-aligned voters.
Donald Trump on Trial
With indications that the former president is being hurt by the indictment, some news dropped on Tuesday that could throw a wrench into the race. The judge in Trump’s case announced that the federal criminal trial in the classified documents case will begin in August. Per NBC News, the two-week trial would start on August 14, less than two months from now. However, it’s very likely that the trial will be delayed to some degree, due to “motions from Trump’s legal team and the complexities of the process surrounding the Classified Information Procedures Act.”
But a trial that takes place in August, or even sometime in the fall, stands to have a huge impact on the presidential race. There will be news, nearly every day for weeks, about crimes Trump may have committed. And even beyond that, the trial could be completed before the voting starts early next year. That opens up the possibility that Trump could enter the 2024 primary race as a convicted criminal, and possibly even face jail time.
Trump is also scheduled to stand trial next March in the New York criminal case, in which he is accused of falsifying documents in connection to his hush money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.
But those are just two of many trials potentially faced by the former president, of both civil and criminal nature.
A January trial date has been set in the next phase of the defamation suit filed against Trump by E. Jean Carroll, and the civil trial resulting from the New York Attorney General’s suit against Trump and the Trump Organization is scheduled for October. And next January, Trump and his company are set to face a civil class action lawsuit, related to the promotion of the multi-level marketing company ACN.
It is possible some of these trials could be delayed- and also that Trump could face additional indictments in the coming months, whether in the Georgia case or from the special counsel’s probe of his attempts to overturn the election. So Trump may very well spend much of the next year shuffling back and forth between the campaign trail and various court appearances in different jurisdictions.
Expertise and Experience:
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.