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AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
It seems like barely a day goes by without the Department of Justice or a state government announcing yet another indictment of former President Donald Trump.
And yet, none of this is hurting the former president’s popularity. In fact, he’s surging in the polls – and has left his Republican challengers for the presidential nomination in the dust. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who made a name for himself by standing strong against COVID policy excesses and for being willing to punch back on the culture wars, has been thus far unable to make a dent in Trump‘s advantage.
A new CBS News/YouGov poll shows that Trump has increased his lead, and all his legal woes have only strengthened his support as many Americans view the endless charges as banana republic justice and an affront to democracy.
The numbers are yuge: 62 percent of likely GOP voters backed Trump, while only 16 percent preferred DeSantis, and seven percent wanted businessman Vivek Ramaswamy. No one else brought more than five percent.
Trump voters’ affinity for him seems to insulate the former president from attacks whether or not he debates this week, because voters basically say they aren’t receptive to such criticism.
Instead, a whopping nine in 10 GOP primary voters want the other candidates to focus on making the case for themselves, but not against Trump.
(In interviews conducted before there were reports that Trump has decided to skip the debate, his voters were likelier than others to both say he should participate in the event and that they intend to watch.)
They dismiss the premise of the charges: the bulk of them do think Trump tried to stay in office, but to them, it was legal and constitutional because these Republican primary voters overwhelmingly think Joe Biden didn’t win legitimately.
CBS News Poll: Trump Posts Biggest Lead Yet Over DeSantis
Trump — 62% (+46)
DeSantis — 16%
Ramaswamy — 7%
Pence — 5%
Scott — 3%
Haley — 2%
Christie — 2%
Hutchinson — 1%
Burgum — 1%
CBS Poll (B+) | 08/16-18 | 538 LV
As we’ve reported, Trump is foregoing Wednesday night’s GOP debate and instead will sit for an interview with Tucker Carlson. The reality is that all the incessant charges against The Donald have only inflamed the base:
First, as was the case with Trump’s previous indictments, Republican primary voters’ overwhelming concern about the Georgia charges is that they’re politically motivated.
In a nutshell, GOP voters see that the endless legal shenanigans against the former President are straight out of a banana republic playbook, and they’re rallying to the cause. He is personally popular, but his dominance is also due to the fact that people are just plain disgusted with our descent into third-world justice. To wit:
There may be a rally effect: a sizable three-quarters of Trump’s voters include those who “show support for his legal troubles” as one rationale, among others, for considering him in the first place.
Although Trump remains controversial to many, it would appear at this time that he’s a shoo-in for the 2024 Republican nomination. Many Americans see that our justice system is rigged, and has become hyper-politicized, and they’re reacting accordingly.