Former President Trump has extended his lead against likely 2024 rival Gov. Ron DeSantis by 26 percentage points, according to the first poll since he was indicted by the Manhattan district attorney.
Trump was leading the DeSantis by 8 percentage points – 47% to 39% – as recently as two weeks ago, but surged to a 57% to 31% advantage among Republican and Republican-leaning voters, a Yahoo News/YouGov survey shows.
It showed a remarkable turnaround for Trump who in February trailed the Florida governor 45% to 41%.
The poll conducted last Thursday and Friday also found that the former president widened his advantage, going from 44% to 52%, among the larger field of announced and potential 2024 Republican candidates, while DeSantis fell to 21% from 28%.
The surge of support in the poll, released Saturday, reflects the overall level of backing Trump has received from Republican political figures in the wake of District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s indictment in connection to a $130,000 hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels in the weeks before the 2016 election.
Former Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin told The Post over the weekend that Bragg’s prosecution is making Trump “stronger” and could propel him through the Republican primary and to the nomination.
“Many of them are already raising significant concerns about this indictment and expressing how they believe this is a political prosecution,” Zeldin said of “independent-minded general election voters.”
With that in mind, 54% of Republicans and Republican-leaning voters now say they they prefer Trump to be the 2024 nominee rather than the 33% who want someone else – up from 51% Trump, 39% someone else in the last poll.
The indictment against Trump remains sealed, but reports say the former president could face more than 30 counts related to falsifying business records with the payment to Daniels.
Trump is expected to be arraigned on Tuesday afternoon on the charges in Manhattan Supreme Court.
While Trump has the backing of Republicans, 42% of Americans approve of the indictment, 33% disapprove and 19% aren’t sure.
Just over half – 52% - of Americans say he shouldn’t be allowed to serve as president again if convicted. Another 31% say he should, and 17% are not sure.
The poll surveyed 1,089 adults.
It has a plus/minus 3.3 percentage points margin of error.
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