The news of an indictment has boosted former President Donald Trump’s polling numbers among the GOP primary candidates and has not dented his lead over President Joe Biden, according to an internal Trump campaign poll.
“President Trump received a significant increase over his opponents in full-field and one-on-one primary election ballot tests, while his decisive lead over Joe Biden in a general election ballot test remains level,” pollster John McLaughlin of McLaughlin & Associates wrote.
In the full-field ballot test of 14 potential Republican candidates, where Trump has polled the strongest because of the high viscosity in his base, the indictment has remarkably stretched Trump’s lead from 12 points to 30:
- Trump 51% – up from 43% in January.
- Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis 21% – down from 31% in January.
- Former Vice President Mike Pence 6%.
- Nikki Haley 4%.
The other 10 candidates are at 2% of less.
Trump’s lead in a one-on-one hypothetical primary with DeSantis is even stronger in Trump’s favor. Trump beat DeSantis 63%-30%, a 33-point margin that trumps his mere 12-point lead in January (52%-40%).
Among the full pool of 1,000 likely general election voters, the attacks on Trump has respondents saying division is getting worse (56%, compared to 34% saying improved), real issues are getting ignored (57% say), and a plurality of voters and near majority (48%) believe the justice system is being weaponized against Trump.
Trump is 13 points “more likely” to get a general election vote after the indictment than “less likely,” according to the poll.
Trump leads Biden 47%-43%, which is virtually unchanged from the March poll. Also, 61% likely GOP primary voters say Trump is the best candidate to beat Biden, compared to 33% for someone else.
Other key highlights from the internal memo to Trump:
- 65% of likely GOP primary voters — which includes independents that vote in primaries — want Trump to run again, up from 58% in January.
- 71% say the U.S. under Biden is on the wrong track, which is up from 65% in March.
- 69% say the U.S. has declined under Biden the past two years.
- 55% say the indictment shows a double standard of justice between Trump and Biden, while only 33% disagreed; those numbers are 85%-10% among likely GOP voters.
The right to a fair trial is a hallmark of the American justice system, but voters in the poll do not believe it is possible in Manhattan. Just 37% of voters say Trump can get a fair trial in Manhattan, compared to 47% that say it will not be fair. Those numbers for likely GOP primary voters are 72% not fair, compared to just 18% for fair.
The McLaughlin & Associates poll was conducted March 31-April 1 among 1,000 likely general election voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. In the subset of 452 likely Republican primary voters, the margin of error is 4.6 percentage points.