Former President Donald Trump’s support among Republicans has only improved since Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg arrested him for 34 felonies and other legal concerns grow more pressing.
According to a CBS News/YouGov survey of over 2,300 American adults released early this week, the 45th president leads among conservatives when they are asked either who they might consider backing or who they would vote for if the election were held today.
“He not only has majority vote support right now, but a massive amount of consideration on top of that, extending beyond his current voters to those who say they might still back him. Trump also wins the votes of a higher percentage of those considering him than anyone else,” pollsters wrote.
Trump’s lead has not suffered but instead grown following multiple legal entanglements, including the recent start of civil rape and defamation proceedings in New York, or after the addition of other well known Republicans, and he polls at a full 58% support.
The next leading candidate, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, comes in at just 22%, but has not yet declared his candidacy.
David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, told the Herald that recent polling matches what the candidates are doing in the field: Trump is actively running for president, DeSantis isn’t.
“We saw the same kind of trend in our polling,” he said. “Trump is being Trump, being decisive. He’s courting his primary support base. DeSantis hasn’t announced, he hasn’t even formed a presidential exploratory committee.”
Besides which, Paleologos said, as people have gotten to know the Florida governor more and watched his ongoing feud with Disney, they aren’t impressed with what they see and it’s showing in the polls.
“He starts off like that person across the ball room. You see them from across the room, but the closer you get they become less appealing,” he said.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, who has been feeling out a campaign for most of a year but also has not officially announced his candidacy, polls at 5% support, tied with relative newcomer Vivik Ramaswamy. Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, the first candidate to formally announce she would challenge Trump, is polling at 4% support.
“To the extent the Republican primary is a contest at all right now, it looks like it’s one between Donald Trump and a sentiment one might call ‘Trump fatigue.’ And Trump is winning that matchup easily,” pollsters said.
Conservative voters surveyed told pollsters they were most interested in a candidate who “challenges woke ideas,” with 85% of respondents telling pollsters that was the most important quality a candidate could possess going into 2024.
Two-thirds of those polled said opposition to gun restrictions was most important and 61% said they simply wanted a candidate that will tell them Trump won in 2020. Another 57% of Republicans polled want a candidate that “makes liberals angry.”
Those numbers, Paleologos said, mean that Trump isn’t the only viable option for the party and that Republican voters are willing to support the candidate who best follows through with their wishes, but that the most Trumpian candidate may suffer for appealing to the base in the long run.
“I think it’s potentially a dangerous road to travel in the general election but a smart road to travel in the Republican Primary. You are going to have multiple situations where candidates are going to try to out anti-woke each other and then once there is a nominee you are going to see them try to become more mainstream moderate,” he said.
Trump, who was on an overseas trip to start this week, will be in New Hampshire next week for the second time in as many months. The former president is expected to participate in a “town hall” style forum scheduled for May 10 at Saint Anselm College in Goffstown which will be televised that evening at 9 p.m.
©2023 MediaNews Group, Inc. Visit at bostonherald.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.