Despite Democrat federal and local prosecutors bringing four unprecedented criminal indictments with 91 total charges against former President Donald Trump, polls show his support growing in the 2024 presidential race.
The RealClearPolitics national polling average has Trump leading his nearest GOP primary competitor, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, by 40 percentage points, 53.6% to 13.5% as of Thursday, and coming within one percentage point of President Joe Biden, 44.6% to 43.8%, even as reports of his upcoming trials dominate the news cycle.
The polls were much closer before the historic first indictment in New York in April, with Trump leading DeSantis by 17 percentage points on March 31.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and a grand jury handed down a 34-count criminal indictment against the former president on April 4, charging Trump with felonies for falsifying business records relating to a 2016 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels to keep an alleged affair between the two years earlier quiet, NPR reported at the time.
The poll showed Trump’s support rose to 26 percentage points over DeSantis the next day, according to the survey.
Department of Justice special counsel Jack Smith handed down a second indictment against Trump two months later, on June 8, for allegedly mishandling classified materials at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida after leaving office in January 2021.
By June 10, Trump’s lead in the polling over DeSantis had increased to 32 percentage points.
Smith went to the well again on Aug. 1, handing down the third indictment of Trump, with charges relating to the events of Jan. 6, 2021, and the protest and violence at the U.S. Capitol.
“Since the attack on our Capitol, the Department of Justice has remained committed to ensuring accountability for those criminally responsible for what happened that day,” Smith said in a statement at the time. “This case is brought consistent with that commitment, and our investigation of other individuals continues.”
Finally, Georgia’s Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and a local grand jury announced a fourth criminal indictment against Trump and 18 of his associates for violating the state’s Racketeer Influenced Corruption Organization statute, usually reserved for mobsters, by trying to overturn the 2020 election results in the state, the Associated Press reported at the time.
“The indictment alleges that rather than abide by Georgia’s legal process for election challenges, the defendants engaged in a criminal racketeering enterprise to overturn Georgia’s presidential election result,” Willis said during a press conference announcing the charges.
By Aug. 20, Trump was ahead of DeSantis by 31 percentage points in the race.
Trump has pleaded not guilty in three of the cases and will likely do the same when he is formally arraigned in Georgia next month.