Jan 15, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Majority of GOP Iowa caucusgoers would support Trump even if convicted: poll

Donald Trump speaks in front of a sign that says "Trump Country" promoting the Iowa caucuses. He is pointing in front of him. He's wearing a suit with a red tie and a white cap.

Former President Trump speaks during a rally on Jan. 14 in Indianola, Iowa, ahead of the caucuses. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

A majority of Republican Iowa caucuses voters said they'll support former President Trump even if he is convicted of a crime before the general election, according to a new poll.

Why it matters: Trump, the GOP presidential front-runner, faces charges in four jurisdictions, including alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election in Georgia.

  • 61% of likely GOP voters polled said their support wouldn't wane — and 19% said they'd be more likely to support Trump if convicted, per NBC News/Des Moines Register poll data released Sunday.
  • 18% said they'd be less likely to support him in a general election if he's convicted.

Zoom in: Among Trump supporters, 58% said a conviction wouldn't matter for supporting him.

  • An additional 35% said a conviction would prompt them to support him more.

The other side: Former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis are competing for what is expected to be the No. 2 spot in today's Iowa caucuses.

  • 56% of Haley's supporters said a Trump conviction wouldn't affect their November vote choice, but 41% said it would make them less likely to support Trump.
  • 70% of DeSantis supporters said a conviction wouldn't matter to them, and 26% said it makes their support less likely.

Context: Voters will face the coldest caucus weather in decades in Iowa.

  • Except for Trump in 2020, the Republican Iowa caucuses winner has not been the eventual GOP presidential nominee in the past 20 years.

Methodology: The NBC News/Des Moines Register poll was conducted Jan. 7-12 with 705 likely Republican caucusgoers. It has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.7 percentage points.

Go deeper: Who won the last 20 years of Iowa caucuses

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