As former President Donald Trump faces four indictments and dozens of criminal charges, he is simultaneously maintaining a commanding lead over his rivals in the 2024 Republican presidential primary race.
He has repeatedly described the prosecution as a form of election interference by Democratic foes who want to derail his bid for a second term — and a recent poll indicates that even Democrats are starting to agree with him.
— Team Trump (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TeamTrump) December 12, 2023
According to an Issues & Insights/TIPP survey, 49% of Democrats either strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement: “The Democratic Party is using the law to try to prevent Trump from running in the 2024 election.”
In comparison, only 44% disagreed, with the remaining 7% saying they were unsure.
A majority of independents — 53% — said they agreed with the statement, compared to 35% who disagreed and 12% who were unsure.
Of course, Republicans were the most likely to see Trump’s legal challenges as a politically motivated attack. More than four-fifths of GOP respondents agreed, including 62% who said they strongly agreed.
Overall, a full 60% of respondents told pollsters that they think Democrats are weaponizing the legal system to take down Trump. While the motive seems clear to most voters, however, the strategy itself does not appear to be working.
When Republicans were asked in the same poll if they would be likely to vote for Trump in the GOP primary “if he is convicted of any crimes,” 72% said they would, which is even higher than the former president is currently polling in most primary race surveys.
As of Monday, the FiveThirtyEight polling average found that Trump was the favorite of 60% of GOP primary voters, followed by Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley, each of whom were nearly 50 points behind him.
For his part, Trump has expressed his belief that he only becomes more popular among Republican voters with each new effort by his political adversaries to bring his campaign to an end.
Addressing reporters outside of a New York courtroom in October, he said: “If I weren’t leading in all the polls or if I weren’t running, I wouldn’t have any of these cases. I wouldn’t be seeing you this morning, so we’ll go in and see our rogue judge and we’ll listen to this man and I think most people get it. People are getting it, I can tell you voters are getting it, because every time they give me a fake indictment I go up in the polls and that has never happened before.”