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Despite two indictments, Trump prevails as ‘Teflon Don’ in 2024 polling and confounds pundits

The former President continues to dominate the GOP field aheahd of 2024.

Published: June 19, 2023 11:42pm

Updated: June 20, 2023 8:18am

Former President Donald Trump appears to be living up to the name “Teflon Don” after new polling shows the 2024 GOP favorite ahead of President Joe Biden by several percentage points, gaining popularity in the face of a federal criminal indictment he argues is a “political persecution” by the Biden Justice Department.

The latest poll, conducted by Harvard CAPS-Harris, found that Trump is favored over Biden by at least 6 points in a hypothetical 2024 matchup for the presidency. In total, 45% of respondents favored the former president over the current, while just 39% said they would pick Biden for a second term.

Of those polled, 15% were unsure about the hypothetical race between the two.

The results come as Biden’s 2024 troubles continue to mount. A newly-released Partners poll showed 71% of Americans believe he is “too old” to run for reelection. That includes 49% of Democrats, 71% of independents and 73% of young people (18-29 years old).

Approval ratings have been something of an Achilles heel for the Biden White House, plunging to a record low of 36% in May 2022 according to Reuters/Ipsos. CNN polls as recent as April of this year showed the President at 41%, the second-lowest of any Commander-in-Chief in 70 years

Biden’s chances don’t seem to have improved through two Trump indictments; if anything, Trump’s being arrested by his chief political rival's DOJ has only concreted the Republican firebrand’s support. NPR reported that 71% of red voters will remain loyal to Trump even if he winds up being convicted of a crime.

Trump was indicted for the first time in March by a New York grand jury on state charges, which also marked the first time any former or current President had faced such an event in American history. In the days following, he reportedly raised over $4 million for his reelection bid. 

Large numbers of prominent conservative figures have staunchly denounced the indictments as another example of weaponized law enforcement, a theme the 45th president often sounds.

"This fake case was brought only to interfere with the upcoming 2024 presidential election and it should be dropped immediately," Trump said to his supporters after his first indictment.

The March charges included "intent to defraud and intent to commit another crime” relating to a hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels. It was widely criticized for being vague and even for being “not a crime,” in the words of Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz.

"In his [Bragg's] press conference, he mentions a couple of them, but they all relate to Stormy Daniels and other kinds of personal, sexual and other payoffs," Dershowitz said to Just The News. "That's just not a crime. It's just not a crime,” he added.

Trump’s most recent indictment in federal court in Miami included 37 felony counts alleging he mishandled sensitive National Defense Information documents, to which he pleaded not guilty on all counts

On Monday, he was ordered by a federal judge not to disclose discovery evidence ahead of his trial.

As for Trump’s primary chances, the Harvard poll also indicates he should secure the GOP nomination effortlessly. The former President boasted a whopping 45-point lead over his presumed top rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who fell to 14% favorability among Republican voters in the same poll.

Trump's former vice president, Mike Pence, came in third at 8%, while other candidates like Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, Tim Scott and others polled under 5%.

“Most of these [GOP] candidates that have entered the race, owe everything to President Trump,” longtime Trump Advisor Bruce Levell told Just The News. “If it wasn’t for President Trump, they would all be no names, especially Ron DeSantis” who he said was “pushed over the finish line” against his gubernatorial rival Andrew Gillum in 2018.

Levell predicted Trump’s lead in polls will remain “extremely high” as the candidate continues to fight to maintain his innocence.

“The growing number of American citizens are learning not to trust most of the media as well as the justice system, [which] is a strong reason why President Trump will continue poll extremely high,” he said. 

Follow Addison on Twitter.

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