Trump's GOP support has increased since indictments issued

 September 1, 2023

Donald Trump is the only U.S. president to be indicted, let alone to face numerous counts from four criminal cases since leaving office, yet he appears to be able to stay afloat politically, regardless.

A federal grand jury and a Georgia grand jury have each indicted Trump for allegedly trying to overturn the 2020 election, as the Washington Examiner reported.

The former president's misuse of critical national security materials after leaving office has also been alleged. A superseding indictment against Trump related to federal charges on those claims was issued last month.

A Manhattan grand jury also indicted Trump for hush money payments to Stormy Daniels made during the 2016 election. Trump faces 91 charges across the four criminal cases. He has denied wrongdoing in all of those matters.

Republican Response

However, Republican voters still support Trump as their party's standard-bearer, despite the indictments. His poll numbers have continuously risen, outpacing all his 2024 opponents by double digits.

In late March, a Manhattan grand jury indicted Trump for paying porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 in the waning days of the 2016 election, his first extraordinary charge. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg unveiled 34 criminal business record falsification allegations against the former president. Trump denied all claims.

Over two months later, on June 8, Trump said on Truth Social that his attorneys had informed him of another indictment. A Miami federal grand jury accused Trump and his assistant Walt Nauta of mishandling confidential papers the very next day, June 9.

On July 27, Special Counsel Jack Smith issued a superseding indictment, adding three new allegations against Trump and another classified papers co-defendant, maintenance worker Carlos De Oliveira.

Smith's superseding indictment increases Trump's criminal charges for mishandling classified materials to 40 from 37. Of the 40 counts, 32 include purposeful retention of national defense information, six involve conspiracy to obstruct justice, and two involve making false claims.

Trump also faces another four federal charges: conspiracy to defraud the U.S., conspiracy to hinder an official action, obstruction and attempt to obstruct, and conspiracy against rights.

At a campaign event in Windham, New Hampshire, Trump attacked Democrats and used an obscenity to disparage the indictments.

"How can my corrupt political opponent, crooked Joe Biden, put me on trial during an election campaign that I'm winning by a lot?" Trump asked.

"But forcing me nevertheless to spend time and money away from the campaign trail in order to fight bogus, made-up accusations and charges, that's what they're doing. I'm sorry, I won't be able to go to Iowa today. I won't be able to go to New Hampshire today because I'm sitting in a courtroom on bulls*** because his attorney general charged me with something. Terrible."

More Polling Data

Trump's legal issues have enhanced his poll ratings, much to his opponents' dismay. GOP primary voters supported Trump 55% in an April 14 Morning Consult survey. By June 10, his popularity rose 4 points to 59%.

Trump had 59% GOP support on Aug. 1, the day of the 2020 election interference indictment. Trump leads his closest opponent, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), by 44% as of Aug. 27.

Around March, a RealClearPolitics poll average showed Trump at slightly under 46%, ahead of his main competitor DeSantis, who was at 30%. Five months later, Trump is polling at 53.6%, 40 percentage points ahead of DeSantis, who sits at 13.5%, and who has lost support as Trump's Republican base support has grown.

Judge Tanya Chutkan has set the federal election interference trial for March 4, 2024, one day before Super Tuesday, which has the potential to significantly disrupt the Republican presidential primary.