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Friday, April 12, 2024

Fox News Poll: Trump gains ground post-indictment

Former President Donald Trump is still, by far, the leader in the Republican Party’s presidential nomination race, according to the latest Fox News national survey.

Last month, Trump had the support of 53% of GOP primary voters. Now, he’s at 56%.  And his closest competitor, Ron DeSantis, trails at 22%.

On June 13, Trump pleaded not guilty to 37 federal charges that he illegally kept classified documents after leaving the White House, making him the first president to face federal indictment.

Trump’s lead over DeSantis has expanded from 15 percentage points in February to 34 points today.

Three other Republicans threw their hat in the ring this month. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum formally announced his candidacy on June 7, while Miami Mayor Francis Suarez made his candidacy official on June 15 and former Texas Rep. Will Hurd on June 22. They each get less than 1% support.

For GOP primary voters, winning in 2024 is the priority: 70% feel it’s extremely important to support a candidate who can defeat President Biden, while 55% say the same about sharing a candidate’s views on issues.

Either way, candidate preference is the same. Those saying electability is extremely important back Trump (57%) over DeSantis (24%), as do those prioritizing issues: Trump (63%) over DeSantis (24%).

What will Trump supporters do if he fails to win the nomination? Most say they’ll vote for whoever the GOP nominee is (80%), with only 6% saying they wouldn’t vote at all.


Republican primary voters have mixed views over what Trump’s legal issues could mean for the general election, although more think they will hurt (30%) than help (25%), with another 43% saying they won’t make a difference.

Democrats are four times as likely to think his legal issues will hurt and independents are three times as likely to say the same.

Overall, while significantly more voters think Trump (56%) did something illegal in handling classified documents than say the same of Biden (37%), a majority (55%) also believes the treatment of Trump by the Justice Department is motivated by partisan politics.

“Both Biden and Trump have about 60% support within their parties,” says Republican pollster Daron Shaw, who conducts the Fox News Poll with Democrat Chris Anderson. “You have to go back to the 2000 election to see two front-runners this far ahead at this stage.”

In March 1999, George W. Bush led Elizabeth Dole by 52%-18%, and Al Gore led Bill Bradley by 56%-14%.

“West could be a significant disruptor in the race,” says Anderson. “It’s feasible he could win just a few percent in a swing state or two and tip the electoral college and presidency, most likely to the Republican.”

Fox News’ Victoria Balara contributed to this report.

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