More than half of Republicans and Republican-leaning independent voters said they would support former President Donald Trump in a hypothetical match-up against President Joe Biden next year, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS.
Despite his legal troubles, Trump remained the GOP’s top choice for his party’s nomination following the traditional Labor Day start to the more engaged campaign season. The former president is currently ahead of his nearest rival by more than 30 points – and Trump has 52 percent support from Republican/Republican-leaning independents compared to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who currently maintains 18 percent support from the same voting bloc.
As it stands, more than four in 10 in the potential Republican primary electorate said they would definitely support Trump, with 43 percent standing behind the former president. Just 20 percent said they’d support another candidate, and 37 percent had no first choice or indicated that they could change their minds. Sixty-one percent of respondents said they think he is extremely or very likely to become the Republican nominee next year, up from 52 percent at the start of the summer.
Criminal Charges Don’t Matter
The majority of those surveyed also said that they felt the criminal charges against Trump are not relevant to his ability to serve as president again, while a majority of Republican-aligned voters said they were not seriously concerned about the impact the charges could have on Trump’s electability.
Trump is currently facing four separate criminal cases, where he has been indicted on a total of 91 charges, including 44 federal charges and 47 state charges. He had previously pleaded not guilty to all charges in three of the cases and entered a not guilty plea last Thursday relating to the Georgia election interference case. The former president also faces three major civil cases in New York City, with the first beginning on October 2, followed by another set to begin on January 15, 2024, and yet another on January 29.
His legal team has largely downplayed the jeopardy he is facing.
Cracks in the Support for Donald Trump?
Though Trump still commands a dominant lead over his rivals, the recent CNN poll did show that his popularity has “waned” slightly. It found that around one in five Republican-aligned voters said they would not support the former president under any circumstances, while 16 percent said the charges he faces related to his role in the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol building are disqualifying if true.
Likewise, a minority – 41 percent – of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say they are seriously concerned that the criminal charges Trump faces will negatively affect his ability to win the 2024 election if he becomes the Republican nominee. The bloc seems even less concerned about the other charges, with 70 percent saying that the charges related to hush money payments to an adult film actress are not relevant to his fitness for office; while 64 percent said the same about the charges related to his handling of classified documents.
It would seem that Donald Trump’s support remains mostly solid, but a lot could change as the cases begin, and it becomes apparent that the former president could face real jail time.
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.
From the Vault