Jun 12, 2023 - Politics & Policy

New criminal charges haven't changed Republicans’ view of Trump, polls say

Former President Trump speaking in Greensboro, North Carolina, on June 10. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Republican voters remain overwhelmingly loyal to former President Trump after he was charged with several federal crimes related to his possession of classified documents after his presidency, recent polls show.

Why it matters: Despite the charges, Trump is still the favorite for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, according to recent polling. Even some of his fellow candidates have lent support to Trump and questioned the motivation behind the indictment.

By the numbers: An ABC News/Ipsos survey published on Sunday found that 80% of polled Republicans said they believe the charges against Trump are politically motivated, while only 9% of GOP voters said they didn't see politics in the charges.

  • Separately, in a CBS News/YouGov poll published on Sunday, 61% of polled Republican voters said the indictment did not change the way they viewed Trump, while 80% of Republicans said he should still be able to assume office if he's convicted and wins the 2024 presidential election.
  • The CBS News/YouGov poll also found 76% of Republican voters believe the charges were motivated by politics.

Yes, but: The ABC News/Ipsos found that nearly half (48%) of Americans believe Trump should have been charged over the classified documents investigation, and 17% said they were unsure.

  • 69% of respondents to the CBS News/YouGov poll said they believe Trump's retention of the documents was a national security risk.

Of note: Trump was the clear front-runner for the 2024 nomination in the CBS News/YouGov survey, holding a nearly three-to-one vote preference over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, his next closest competitor.

Context: The Justice Department has charged Trump with at least 37 felony counts related to retaining classified information and obstruction of justice for his handling of classified documents after he left the White House.

  • The indictment alleged that his possession and conduct with the documents posed a national security risk, as they contained classified information regarding defense and weapons capabilities of the U.S. and foreign countries, U.S. nuclear programs, potential vulnerabilities of the U.S. and its allies to military attack and other sensitive material.
  • It also alleged that the former president stored the classified documents in public and unsecured spaces throughout his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida — including a ballroom and bathroom — and also showed classified documents to others two different times in 2021.

The big picture: The criminal indictment is Trump's second. He was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records by a Manhattan grand jury earlier this year, to which the former president pleaded not guilty.

Go deeper: House GOP responds to Trump indictment with renewed FBI scrutiny

Methodology: The ABC News/Ipsos poll surveyed 910 U.S. adults between June 9 and 10 and has an overall margin of error of +/- 3.7 percentage points.

The CBS News/YouGov poll surveyed 2,480 U.S. adults between June 7 and 10 and has an overall margin of error is +/- 2.7 percentage points. 1,798 respondents were recontacted to complete a follow-up survey after the federal indictment of Donald Trump was unsealed.

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