After Trump indictment, most see security risk, but Republicans see politics

Republican primary voters say they are far more concerned that Donald Trump’s indictment is politically motivated that his alleged conduct is a national security risk – and there is no evidence that this harms his status as the undisputed leader of the candidacy 2024, at least not yet. He remains well ahead of his rivals in both consideration and voting choice.

In fact, most Republican primary voters generally wouldn’t consider his keeping documents with alleged nuclear systems or military plans a national security risk, per se.

Most have explicitly excluded the charges announced in the indictment to change their view of Mr. Trump. Rather than being disqualifying in their eyes, even if he is eventually convicted of a crime in the matter, they overwhelmingly believe that he should still be able to be president again.

The interviews for this investigation were conducted before and after the indictment was announced and released, and there is no evidence that this hurt Trump’s standing in the primary contest. Respondents were recontacted after Friday’s DOJ announcement and asked additional follow-up questions about it.

At this point in the race, it’s always important to consider what the electorate wants even more than any horse race. And on that front, despite campaign rhetoric, GOP voters are prioritizing economy on so-called culture war issues.

They place much more importance on a candidate with a plan to cut inflation and cut taxes than they do on topics discussed on the track like, for example, limiting the rights of transgender people and a ban abortion rate (compared in the graph below).

But that also doesn’t mean that Trump (or perhaps those who come to his defense) is in perfect sync with the electorate — and perhaps that could be an opening for an adversary down the line.

Most GOP primary voters will not to hear Trump himself talk about the court cases and investigations against him, or what happened in the 2020 election, although these topics have been a key part of his rallies, including in the wake of the indictment. They would rather he talk about the present or the future: his plans for the country now.

And if the candidate was someone other than Trump, they would rather that person not talk about Trump at all, than show loyalty to him.

But here’s the needle other Republican candidates need to thread: In another sign of Trump’s influence on the party, even if he wasn’t the nominee, Republican voters are overwhelmingly saying they’d like a similar candidate. to him.

Governance approach

But that said, if Trump is only talking to the most loyal “MAGA” Republicans, there are indeed differences between them and the rest of the party in the kind of approach they say a GOP president should. generally adopt.

Compared to other Republicans, MAGA Republicans are somewhat more likely to express a more combative approach. While most would prefer a president who finds common ground with Democrats, a third would prefer to investigate and punish the opposition party, which is higher than non-MAGA IDs.

And they’re less likely to say it’s important for the Republican nominee to appeal to moderate and independent voters in the election, preferring whoever motivates the GOP base instead.

The GOP Race: Consideration and Voting

Trump is up nearly three to one in voting preference over Ron DeSantis, his next closest challenger, whose official entry into the race hasn’t changed his standing relative to Trump. The rest of the domain is currently seeing single-digit support rates.

Trump is at least considered by three quarters of the primary electorate; it’s still a critical metric at this early stage in a race, where voters know they have time to weigh the merits of multiple candidates, so far removed from the actual vote.

Respondents here were free to consider as many or as few as they liked, and most Republican voters still consider more than one candidate.

And when we take a broad look at the ground, taking into account both the consideration and the current vote, we see that Trump dominates when the two measures are taken together, suggesting that he has an even higher ceiling, and that Ron DeSantis and other candidates still have more people considering them rather than voting for them, leaving open the question of whether they can convert more. So far they haven’t.

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