Donald Trump was already leading the 2024 GOP presidential field by a large margin, but it appears to have grown following his indictment by the Justice Department, which his most likely Democratic opponent is currently leading.
According to a new CBS News poll, the former president dominated the Republican primary with 61 percent of support, leading his opponent, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, by a significant margin of 38 points.
Meanwhile, Sen. Tim Scott (SC) secured third place with just 4 percent support, edging out former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley by one point.
CBS News added:
Republican primary voters say they’re far more concerned that Donald Trump’s indictment is politically motivated than his alleged conduct being a national security risk – and there’s no evidence it’s hurt his status as the clear front-runner for the 2024 nomination, at least not yet. He remains well ahead of rivals in both consideration and vote choice.
In fact, most Republican primary voters would not generally consider him keeping the alleged documents with nuclear systems or military plans to be a national security risk, in and of itself.
Most explicitly ruled out the charges announced in the indictment changing their views about Mr. Trump. Rather than being disqualifying in their eyes, even if he’s ultimately convicted of a crime in the matter, they overwhelmingly feel he should still be able to serve as president again.
Also Saturday, Trump, during his first campaign event following his Thursday indictment, claimed that his polling numbers and fundraising are both “through the roof.”
During a rally where he addressed the Georgia Republican Party, Trump said the charges were political in nature and that President Joe Biden was behaving like a Soviet-style dictator targeting his political enemies.
“As far as this joke of an indictment, it’s a horrible thing. It’s a horrible thing for this country,” Trump said. “I mean, the only good thing about it is it’s driven by poll numbers way up. Can you believe it?”
“And somebody said the fundraising is through the roof, that’s less important. But I will tell you, it’s really driven us right through the sky. We’re really winning big. We’re winning over everyone—we’re beating the hell out of the Republicans and we’re beating the hell out of Joe Biden,” the former president added.
“That’s why they’re doing it. If I wasn’t, if I wasn’t, there’d be no witch hunt, there’d be no indictment.”
He also said, “The ridiculous and baseless indictment of me by the administration’s weaponized department of injustice will go down as among the most horrific abuses of power in the history of our country.
“Many people have said—Democrats have even said it—this vicious persecution is a travesty of justice. You’re watching Joe Biden … trying to jail his leading political opponent, that opponent that’s beating him by a lot in the polls just like they do in Stalinist Russia, or communist China, no different,” he continued.
Trump also went through a litany of polling data he said was acquired by his campaign.
“We lead the field by 34 points, with Trump at 56 to DeSanctimonious [Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis] at 22, Pence at seven, Haley at three. In the Clarity Campaign Poll—I don’t know that poll, but I love it—we’re up by 56 points: Trump is at 69, DeSanctimonious is at 13, Pence is at six,” he said.