FBI raid spurs shift in Trump’s voter support
A new poll suggests that the FBI has boosted former US President Donald Trump’s chances if he enters the 2024 presidential race. His voter support has increased sharply since the controversial raid for classified documents allegedly stashed at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida.
Asked whether they would rather see Trump or “someone else” win the GOP presidential nomination, 54% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents prefer the ex-president, according to a Yahoo/YouGov poll released this week. That compares with 34% who want another candidate and 12% who are undecided.
The 54-34 margin marks an 11-point shift from the 47-38 edge that Trump held earlier this month, before the FBI raid. Similarly, when asked whether they prefer Trump or Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as their 2024 candidate, Republicans choose the former reality TV star by a margin of 49-31. His lead over DeSantis was 44-34 before the raid.
Trump revealed the raid on August 8, saying his Palm Beach home had been “occupied” and was “under siege.” Critics of the search, including DeSantis and Republican lawmakers, accused President Joe Biden’s administration of weaponizing federal law enforcement against political enemies and turning the US into a “banana republic.”
However, 56% of Americans believe Trump shouldn’t be allowed to serve as president again if he’s found guilty of “mishandling highly classified documents,” the poll showed. Just 26% would support his return to the Oval Office after such an offense.
In contrast to Trump’s rising support among Republicans, Biden still isn’t favored as a 2024 candidate by voters in his own party. Just 32% of Democrats want the incumbent president to win the nomination again, while 49% prefer “someone else.” Even among those who voted for Biden in 2020, only 33% want him as the Democrat nominee in 2024.
Among relatively non-partisan Americans – those who don’t watch Fox News, CNN, or MSNBC – “someone else” is preferred over Biden by a 63-15 margin. In a head-to-head matchup between Trump and Biden, independent voters favor Trump at a 39-32 clip.
As for political hot buttons heading into the 2022 midterm congressional elections, inflation is far and away the top concern for Americans, more than doubling the No. 2 issue, democracy. Respondents see Republicans as handling the crisis better than Democrats by a 38-31 margin, the poll showed. Just 23% of Americans believe the country is “generally headed in the right direction,” versus 65% who see it as being “on the wrong track.”