New polling from CNN/SSRS indicates that while former President Trump still leads the GOP field, his position has softened following indictment by federal prosecutors last week.
Why It Matters: The first wave of indictments by the Manhattan District Attorney against the former President strengthened Mr. Trump’s position in what at the time was a relatively undefined primary field. Now, with other strong alternatives emerging, support for the former President is not surging following his indictment on federal charges as it did following his New York City indictment.
This lack of a surge following this new indictment is a bit of a surprise for the former President, whose numbers usually see a boost following controversial news coverage. Indeed, both his ballot and favorability numbers among those most likely to vote in the GOP presidential nominating contest have fallen in the days following Mr. Trump’s indictment at the federal courthouse in Miami and a defiant speech at his Bedminster, NJ residence.
By The Numbers:
Where’d It Go: The primary beneficiaries of Mr. Trump’s fall appear to be former Vice President Mike Pence, who gained 3-points since May (up to 9%), and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, who saw a 2-point bump to 4%. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the next closest candidate to the former President, saw no change in ballot share, maintaining 26%.
Nuggets of Support: Of the likely Republican voters polled, examination of crosstabs revealed that Gov. DeSantis is the only candidate for whom a majority of those ‘currently supporting’ are under 45 (31%) compared to those 45+ (24%). Those numbers air in the opposite for every other major candidate, with the percentage of those 45+ outweighing that of voters under 45. Additionally, 80% of those who now support the former President in the race indicated they’d consider supporting DeSantis at the ballot box.
The Bottom Line: The first votes in the presidential nominating contest are still over 200 days away from being cast. That’s a long time. The former President may maintain his lead. Or some of his supporters may grow fatigued as his legal troubles continue and voters get to know more about other Republican competitors. The lack of a boost for former President Trump following his federal indictment could be a positive sign for his GOP opponents.