Former President Trump has used the news of his New York indictment to raise funds for his 2024 election campaign in recent days — indicating that Trump's team sees an opportunity to turn his legal misfortune into political capital.
That effort could be successful among Republicans. In the latest Economist/YouGov Poll, most Republicans continue to want Trump to run for the White House in 2024. This week, 61% of Republicans say he should run, the highest share of Republicans who have said this since the question started being asked in July 2022. One-quarter of Republicans do not want to see Trump run for the White House next year.
Trump has held a comfortable lead over his presumed top rival for the GOP nomination, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, in recent head-to-head contests, after DeSantis had led last November in YouGov surveys that asked the question slightly differently. In a February YouGov poll, Republicans and Independents who lean toward the Republican Party preferred Trump (47%) over DeSantis (36%) by a 12-percentage-point margin. (Numbers don't add up precisely because of rounding.) In this poll Trump's lead has expanded to 17 points: Trump 50%, DeSantis 33%. Other YouGov polling conducted after the indictment found that Republicans are rallying around Trump, but it remains to be seen whether that trend will continue.
DeSantis and Trump receive similarly favorable assessments from Republicans in this poll. DeSantis is thought of very or somewhat favorably by 73% of Republicans, up 3 points from two weeks ago. In both polls, 13% of Republicans say they are very or somewhat unfavorable toward him. Trump receives a favorable rating from 79% of Republicans (up 4 points in a week), with 19% now unfavorable towards him (down 1 point since last week's poll).
As for the possibility of another Trump vs. Biden contest in the 2024 general election, most Americans are not enthusiastic: Majorities say each of them should not run in 2024. Among members of each man's party, while 61% of Republicans want Trump to run, just 48% of Democrats want Biden to run. Democrats' enthusiasm for Biden's candidacy has consistently run behind Republicans' enthusiasm for Trump's campaign since at least last summer.
Registered voters are almost evenly split between Biden (42%) and Trump (44%), within the poll’s margin of error, when asked to consider a hypothetical 2024 rematch between them. The margin is even tighter among Americans overall (38% for Biden, 40% for Trump).
Trump's standing has improved from a January poll, in which 46% of registered voters said they would vote for Biden and 42% for Trump. In that poll, 42% of Americans preferred Biden over Trump (36%).
—Carl Bialik and Taylor Orth contributed to this article
Methodology: Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel using sample matching. A random sample (stratified by gender, age, race, education, geographic region, and voter registration) was selected from the 2019 American Community Survey. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, education, 2020 election turnout and presidential vote, baseline party identification, and current voter registration status. Demographic weighting targets come from the 2019 American Community Survey. Baseline party identification is the respondent’s most recent answer given prior to June 1, 2022, and is weighted to the estimated distribution at that time (34% Democratic, 31% Republican). The margin of error for the overall sample is approximately 3%.
Image: Getty Images (Joe Raedle)