Trump’s Popularity Isn’t Going Anywhere

The former president faces many legal challenges, but they haven’t significantly impacted his popularity among voters.

Written by Joanna Button

What’s new: A *New York Times/*Siena College poll shows just how deep Republican support for former President Donald Trump runs. Over half of Republicans, 54 percent, say they’d vote for Trump in 2024 compared to 17 percent for runner-up Ron DeSantis. Trump leads his competitors by wide margins in every region and demographic.

  • Why it matters: As primaries loom, Trump's popularity seems impervious to potential federal indictments and attacks from GOP rivals vying for his base. Recent polls project a neck-and-neck race in 2024 between him and President Joe Biden.

DeSantis’s struggle: The Florida governor is Trump’s biggest primary rival, but his initial momentum has been slipping. Running as a conservative family man, his campaign has largely focused on fighting against progressivism in schools, businesses, and other institutions. He points to the numerous conservative bills he’s passed in Florida as an indication that he can buckle down and get important things done. His success in his state, however, is not enough.

Comparison: Trump leads DeSantis among Republican voters from all across the spectrum, even those who agree more with DeSantis on anti-”woke” issues. When asked to compare the two candidates, Republicans were more likely to refer to DeSantis as “moral” and “likable,” but more likely to see Trump as a “strong leader,” “able to beat Joe Biden,” and “fun” — a trait that sets him apart from other politicians in general.

Unwavering support: Republicans across the board are sold on Trump, and the numerous legal challenges he faces haven’t dented support for his 2024 presidential bid. Many Republicans say they like DeSantis, but love Trump – he has gained their trust with his populist message. But another factor seems to play into his popularity: many simply appreciate his bold and entertaining personality.

  • Notable: Trump even has support from 22 percent of voters who believe he has committed serious federal crimes. This could be due to the sentiment that others in politics and government are more corrupt.

  • Dive deeper: In the poll, Trump leads by substantial margins among both genders, all age groups, moderates, conservatives, and across educational backgrounds and geographical locations. DeSantis has struggled to make significant inroads, with only slight traction among college-educated voters.

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