Aug 21, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Iowa poll: Trump lead grew post-indictment

Mike Allen

Data: NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll (406 likely Iowa Republican caucusgoers were contacted Aug. 13-17, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 points); Chart: NBC News

Famed pollster J. Ann Selzer of Des Moines is out Monday morning with her first Iowa poll of the 2024 election cycle.

Driving the news: Former President Trump starts with a 20+ point lead over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis among likely Iowa Republican caucusgoers — with the other hopefuls in single digits, according to Selzer's NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll.

  • Trump's advantage "is the largest Republican caucus lead recorded by the poll since the 2000 contest won by George W. Bush," NBC News reports.

The intrigue: Trump's lead actually grew after his Aug. 14 indictment on racketeering charges in Georgia, the poll shows.

  • Interviews from Aug. 13-14 showed Trump beating DeSantis by 18 percentage points, 38% to 20%.
  • But in interviews after the indictment, that lead grew to 25 points, 43% to 18%.
  • Two-thirds of likely caucusgoers (65%) said they don't believe Trump committed serious crimes.

Yes, but: A majority of caucusgoers (52%) haven't made up their minds yet, according to the poll.

  • And caucusgoers are strongly considering DeSantis, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, per NBC.

Be smart: Selzer, who has been conducting the poll for decades, says anything can happen in Iowa.

  • "We have had candidates who started low and ended up winning," she said.
  • "Anyone can come to Iowa and win," she added. "Anybody."
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