The media is still in a frenzy over Former President Trump’s indictment for the alleged mishandling of classified documents, charges Trump vehemently denies.
While recent polling shows Republicans largely agree with Trump and believe the charges are intended to keep him from seeking reelection, this perception is not limited to Trump’s base.
In March, when the former President was indicted by a New York grand jury for alleged hush money payments to an adult film star, charges Trump denies, his polling numbers rose substantially with swing voters.
While the recent charges involve an ongoing case, Trump has made it clear he believes the charges are intended to keep him from seeking reelection. Former President Trump said in a statement Tuesday posted to Truth Social, “ON MY WAY TO COURTHOUSE. WITCH HUNT!!! MAGA”, as he headed to the Miami courthouse to defend himself.
A few days earlier on June 10 in Columbus, Ga. after news of the indictment broke, Trump was clear in his denial of the charges and promise to “keep fighting” for the American people.
“I’ve put everything on the line, and I will never yield,” Trump said to supporters. “I never yield. I will never be deterred. I will never stop fighting for you.”
Polling conducted over the weekend that news of Trump’s indictment broke showed a bulk of Republicans believe the latest set of charges to be politically motivated much like the charges brought against Trump in March.
A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll shows a full 81% of Republicans say the charges against Trump are politically motivated, a number that exceeds Trump’s core base of supporters.
What is more, Trump was up a full 38 points over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in a recent CBS News / YouGov poll conducted after news of the indictment broke. The poll found 61% of GOP voters said they’d support Trump for the 2024 Republican primary, while 23% said they’d support DeSantis.
This comes at a time where President Biden’s approval rating hovers in the low 40’s, and many in his own party do not want to see him run for president again.
The CBS News poll also found 61% of GOP voters said news of Trump’s indictment did not impact their view of him, and 80% of likely GOP voters said even if he is convicted of federal charges he should be allowed to run for president.
The poll also found among voters who are considering supporting Trump, Trump’s recent indictment for the alleged mishandling of classified documents makes them more likely to support him, not less.
Voters who are considering supporting Trump said 40% to 4% they are more likely, not less likely, to support Trump after news of the indictment broke. Even moderates were much more likely to say news of the indictment increased their support for Trump, with 24% saying they would be more likely to support him compared to 13% who said they’d be less likely to.
It is not only Trump’s base which is showing support for the former president since news of the indictment broke. The CBS News poll shows a full 73% of Independents who lean GOP are considering supporting Trump in the primaries, as are 56% of moderate likely GOP primary voters.
What is more, after Trump was indicted for alleged hush money payments in March of this year, his support rose significantly not only among his base, but among swing voters as well.
YouGov polling conducted before and after Trump was indicted in March found Trump’s favorability rose among all likely voters by 4 percentage points after he was indicted for alleged hush money payments. The polling also found Trump gained substantially with young people, lower-income voters, and Independents, and made marginal gains with minority votes during that period.
YouGov polling conducted March 27th compared to polling conducted April 15-18 showed Trump gaining 9 percentage points with voters under thirty since news of his indictment broke. He has also gained 7 points with lower-income voters and 6 points with Independents. Even urban voters and moderates incrementally inched toward the former President, supporting him by 4 percentage points more after news of the indictment broke. Trump has also gained incrementally with minorities, adding two points apiece with Black and Hispanic voters after he was indicted.
YouGov polling conducted in the midst of the charges found Trump’s approval rating was highest among younger voters and was up by double-digits compared to the same poll conducted in October 2022. Trump’s favorability among millennials rose 10 percentage-points after his indictment in March compared to October, and his approval with Gen Z rose 14 percentage points during the same period.
Despite facing another set of criminal charges, former President Trump still commands resilient support among his core supporters as well as among swing voters and those who are considering supporting him in 2024.
Recent polls indicate a significant number of Republicans perceive the indictment as a politically motivated maneuver by Democrats and the mainstream media, aiming to undermine Trump and obstruct his potential future candidacy. Moreover, Trump’s rising popularity among Generation Z and Millennials suggests that younger voters may be less influenced by the constant news cycle and more likely to support Trump when he is facing a crisis.
Overall, surveys indicate that most Americans acknowledge that politics plays a role, to some extent, in Trump’s most recent indictment. Furthermore, an increasing number of individuals express concerns about another four years under President Biden’s leadership. So, the indictment might be helping, not hurting, Trump.
Manzanita Miller is an associate analyst at Americans for Limited Government Foundation.