Former President Donald Trump has surged to his largest-ever lead over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in a 2024 GOP primary matchup in a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll taken after he was indicted Thursday — but if he ends up being convicted of a crime, most of the poll's respondents said he shouldn't be allowed to serve as president.
The poll, conducted of a sample of 1,089 U.S. adults in the first 24 hours after Trump was indicted, showed Trump ahead of DeSantis by 26 percentage points, or 57% to 31% when matched one-on-one, reports Yahoo News.
Trump also attracted the most support, 52%, when he was pitted against a 10-candidate field of potential and declared candidates, while DeSantis' numbers dropped to 21%.
Less than two weeks ago, however, a Yahoo News/YouGov had Trump at 47% over DeSantis at 39%. And as recently as February, DeSantis topped Trump by 45% to 41%.
Trump's numbers were also high with Republicans and people who lean Republican, with 54% saying they want him to be the GOP nominee rather than "someone else," at 33%. This was up from 51% to 39% in the last poll.
However, the numbers change for the former president if he's convicted of a crime in the Manhattan indictment, which is connected with the hush-money payment to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 campaign.
In this instance, 52% said Trump should not be allowed to serve a second term; 31% said he should be allowed if he's found guilty, and 17% said they are not sure.
The poll, though, also showed that just about a third of respondents heard "a lot" about Trump's indictment, but that number will climb in upcoming days, with his arraignment scheduled for Tuesday, at which time the indictment against him will likely be unsealed.
According to reports, Trump could face more than two dozen charges of falsifying business records, including one felony offense in connection with the $130,000 paid by his former attorney, Michael Cohen, to Daniels to quiet her claims of having had an affair with Trump, which he denies.
Further, Trump is under criminal investigations in connection with the Jan. 6 incidents at the Capitol, trying to overturn the 2020 election results, and for storing classified documents in his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida, noted Yahoo News:
- 64% said they think he tried to overturn the election.
- 54% think he incited the violent Jan. 6 protests.
- 71% believe he was storing the documents.
The poll also showed a divide over whether Americans approve of the indictment in Manhattan and how they feel about it:
- 42% overall said they approve, with 39% disapproving and 19% saying they weren't sure.
- 69% of Democrats said they approve of the indictment, and 66% of Republicans said they disapprove.
- 42%, including 75% of Democrats, said the indictment came from "a genuine desire to hold Trump accountable."
- 43%, including 75% of Republicans, said it was because of "political bias against Trump."
- 67% of Democrats said they are enthusiastic or satisfied with the indictment.
- 68% of Republicans said they are either dissatisfied or angry.
Trump's numbers among independents also showed pessimism about Trump, with half saying they believe he's "committed a serious crime" at some point during his life, and 25% saying they don't think he has ever committed a serious crime.
In other numbers:
- President Joe Biden maintained a 2-point edge over Trump.
- Trump's favorability rating is now at 45%, up from 40% to 43%.
- Trump's favorable rating among Republicans is up to 79%, after being at 74% after the 2022 midterm elections.
- 62% agree that "Trump says what other politicians are afraid to say," up from 55% in December 2022.
- 49% agree that "the only thing Donald Trump cares about is himself," down from 53% in December.
- 34% say "yes" when asked if Trump "respects women" (48% say no), up from 30% in August 2020.
- 35% say Trump is honest and trustworthy, with 47% saying he is not. This was up from 30% in August 2020.
- 44% say "yes" when asked if Trump's family is corrupt, to 36% say no, down from 49% in October 2022.
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