I wrote on Thursday about a Fox poll that came out just before former President Donald Trump was indicted, but after the reports about it possibly happening had come out.
It showed that Trump was racing to a big lead. He had already been gaining in the numbers since January, but the news of the possibility of the indictment may have added even more to his lead, with Republicans likely coalescing behind him in the face of political targeting. The Fox poll found he was leading Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis by 30 points, 54 to 24 percent. DeSantis has not formally declared a run yet, although he has been making remarks like a guy who would be running.
So, what about polls after the election? What has been the effect of the announcement that the indictment is real?
A new Yahoo/YouGov poll shows that he’s now increased his lead over their prior poll numbers, surging to his largest-ever lead over DeSantis in their poll. They note that in February, DeSantis was leading in the poll, 45 to 41 percent. Then in a poll conducted two weeks ago, in a head-to-head matchup with DeSantis among registered Republicans or Republican-leaning independents, Yahoo had it at 47 to 39 percent, with Trump up by 18.
But now, after the news of the indictment became official, Trump is up in their poll by 26 points, 57 to 39 percent, in a one-on-one race. Adding in 10 others who are declared or likely to run, Trump has the majority support 52 percent, up from 44 percent, with DeSantis is only at 21 percent, dropping from 28 percent. Everyone else isn’t even close and is just in single digits.
By the same token, a full 54% of Republicans and Republican leaners would now prefer Trump to be the GOP’s 2024 presidential nominee rather than “someone else” (33%) — up from 51% Trump, 39% someone else last time.
The survey of 1,089 U.S. adults was conducted in the first 24 hours after a New York grand jury voted to indict Trump, as news about the case continued to break and sink in.
Trump’s favorable rating has also gone up with Republicans by 5 points, from 74 to 79 percent.
So what does that mean? We’re still a long way off from the 2024 race. So we’ll have to see how things break down, and you know that the Democrats will do all that they can to try to smear both Trump and DeSantis in the meantime, and perhaps agitate for a reaction regarding the indictment.
But what it does mean is that Republicans are rallying around Trump when they see the effort to get him. Folks on the right who are not Trump fans have been calling out the indictment as politically motivated. Even the Washington Post thinks that it’s all b.s., which says a lot.
But the indictment puts the battle into sharper focus for some, if Democrats are now at a point where they think they have the power to take down their political opponents. As Fox pollster Daron Shaw said about the Fox poll and the rumor of the indictment, it helps Trump in the polls because it “reanimates feelings that Trump is still fighting forces they see as corrupt and out of control.”