NBC Poll: Trump Doubles Lead on DeSantis

Despite concerted efforts by President Joe Biden’s Justice Department to bring former President Donald Trump under scrutiny through investigations and legal charges, such moves have seemingly done little to diminish Trump’s popularity.

The most recent survey from NBC News indicates that Trump has increased his lead over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and other primary contenders by 29 points, nearly twice his lead in April (15 points).

Currently, 51% of nationwide Republican primary voters favor Trump, while DeSantis trails at 22%. Other potential candidates like former Vice President Mike Pence (7%) and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (5%) receive even less support, with no other candidate exceeding 4%, as per the survey.

Bill McInturff from Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican pollster, told NBC News, “This is the first instance a former president has been indicted, and yet this survey shows no discernible effects on his standing.”

McInturff further noted Trump’s support as a “robust initial figure,” implying that something significant needs to transpire to tilt the race.

However, the 37-count federal indictment against Trump did not have the desired impact. In April, following Trump’s indictment by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Trump was leading DeSantis 46% to 31%.

Jeff Horwitt, a Democrat pollster from Hart Research Associates, pointed out that Republican voters are not only standing by Trump following the indictment, but also displaying indications of increasing support for him, or a decrease in support for others, most notably Ron DeSantis.

Republican strategists have often asserted that a crowded field of Trump challengers would merely fracture the anti-Trump vote, while Trump himself retains a firm base of supporters.

This theory is supported by the NBC poll results, which show that in a two-way race between Trump and DeSantis, Trump gains 9 points (60% support), and DeSantis gains 14 points (36%) when other candidates are eliminated.

However, this 5-point surge is not sufficient to dislodge Trump’s grip on the Republican Party, even though this data comes from a national poll and does not represent a breakdown by state primary delegates.

The poll also shows that 64% of Republican voters view the investigations and indictments against Trump as politically biased. Still, half of the party’s voters remain open to supporting another candidate besides Trump.

When pitted against Biden in a hypothetical general election, the NBC News poll gives Biden a 4-point lead over Trump (49% to 45%), a result that is slightly outside the margin of error.

“Reflecting on the 2020 election, it was largely a referendum on Donald Trump,” said Horwitt. “Should we see a Biden-Trump rematch, there are strong indicators that Trump will be the main point of focus, rather than Biden.”

The NBC News poll was conducted from June 16 to June 20 among 1,000 registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points. It included 500 Republican primary voters, with a margin of error of +/- 4.38 percentage points.