Significant majorities of the American public see politics as a motivating factor in the recently-announced indictment of former President Donald Trump, with early polling showing a potential boost for Trump’s chances of winning back the White House next year. The news comes as the former president headed to New York to face the charges.
The former president’s assertions received support from the American public. Several polls released since the indictment announcement show a clear majority believing that the indictment was influenced by politics.
The CNN poll on the topic showed that more than three-quarters of Americans believed that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s (D) actions were influenced by politics. This included 93% of Republicans, as well as 76% of independents and 60% of Democrats.
A Quinnipiac poll taken prior to the announcement of the indictment found that 62% of the public believes that the pending charges were political.
The Manhattan District Attorney has received considerable criticism from conservatives based on what they perceive as selective enforcement of New York law. This, they believe, includes the indictment of the former president.
The sympathetic numbers toward Trump could also indicate a backlash against Democrats for the unprecedented indictment of a former president.
Former Reagan White House pollster Craig Keshishian said that Trump could grow more popular due to the charges. He cited the impeachment effort against former President Bill Clinton, which harmed Republican results in the 1998 midterm elections.
Furthermore, the former president surged in the 2024 Republican primary polls following the announcement of the indictment. Trump now has a clear majority, at 50.8% in the RealClearPolitics polling average of Republican primary voters.
Post indictment poll: Trump surges to a 33-point lead over Ron DeSantis
Trump — 56% (+12 from Mar 14)
DeSantis — 23% (-9)
Cheney — 10%
Pence — 4%
Haley — 4%
Pompeo — 1%
T. Scott — 1%
Trafalgar (B) | 1,123 LV | Mar 31- Apr 2https://t.co/xSvJDDiVqK pic.twitter.com/EZa1fbdIZB
— InteractivePolls (@IAPolls2022) April 3, 2023
Trump also saw a significant surge in fundraising after the impending charges were revealed.