Trump lead among Republicans grows after rumors of arrest, Harvard poll shows

Matthew Medsger, Boston Herald on

Published in Political News

The 45th President of the United States has seen his support among Republican voters grow in the midst of and despite rumors of his pending arrest in New York.

“Trump has increased his standing as favorite in a prospective GOP primary; (Florida Gov. Ron) DeSantis is second favorite and gaining ground if Trump does not run,” a new poll out of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University shows.

According to a survey of nearly 3,000 registered voters conducted last Wednesday and Thursday, former President Donald Trump’s lead against fellow conservatives improved four points from February, to 50%, in a field including more than half-a-dozen declared and undeclared candidates.

Pollsters asked voters to make their choice after the former president, on March 17, used his Truth Social media account to warn supporters that New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg would soon arrest him.

Trump’s arrest did not occur last Tuesday as he publicly predicted. A grand jury convened to consider illegalities surrounding allegations of a hush-money payment to a porn star mistress ahead of the 2016 election has yet to decide whether or not to file charges.

David Greenberg, a historian at Rutgers University, told the Herald that half of Trump’s staying power is a matter of tribalism and is indicative of our particularly partisan times.


The other half is the seeming source of his woes.

“Attacks on him can be interpreted as coming from the very institutions he’s shown contempt for – the law, the media, Democrats, other politicians. For many people, the attacks only enhance his status as a person whom the established powers want to take down, and that gives them reason to rally around him,” he said.

DeSantis, who has not announced his candidacy but is widely expected to do so after his state’s Legislature wraps their business this summer, comes in a distant second at 24% support, with former Vice President Mike Pence and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Healey earning 7% and 5% respectively.

Trump would also win a head-to-head race against just the Sunshine State’s governor, 56% to 44%, or Haley alone, 70% to 30%.


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