Trump's massive primary lead grows while GOP voters dismiss indictments: poll
Republican primary voters say candidates should be promoting themselves rather than attacking Trump.
Former President Donald Trump's massive lead in the 2024 Republican presidential primary is growing wider as likely GOP primary voters are dismissing his latest indictment as "politically motivated," according to a poll released Sunday.
With 62% support in a hypothetical 2024 GOP primary, Trump is 46-points ahead of his next closest opponent, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is coming in with 16% support, according to the latest CBS News/YouGov survey.
Following DeSantis, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy is in third with 7% and former Vice President Mike Pence is in fourth place with 5%, while all other candidates are polling at or below 3%.
Additionally, GOP primary voters say candidates should be promoting themselves rather than attacking Trump.
The poll showed that 91% of GOP voters said Trump's opponents should be "making the case for themselves" at the Republican debate this week while 9% said that the candidates should focus more on "making the case against Trump" at the debate.
More than three-fourths of likely GOP primary voters (77%) said they are more concerned that the latest indictment of Trump in Georgia is "politically motivated," compared to the 8% of respondents who said they are more concerned that "Trump tried to overturn [a] presidential election," the poll also showed. Meanwhile, 15% of GOP primary respondents said they were concerned about both issues.
The poll comes as Trump faces at least nine legal battles ahead of and through the 2024 election, including two federal criminal cases and two state criminal cases as well as several civil suits. The former president has denied any wrongdoing or liability.
Trump's lead in the GOP primary has increased by more than 10 points on average since January 2023, when he was coming in with 43.4% support to DeSantis' 37.3%, according to FiveThirtyEight, an outlet that averages various polls.
Trump's polling average now sits at 54.3% to DeSantis' 14.8% as more candidates have entered the primary field.
The CBS/YouGov poll was conducted Aug. 16-18, 2023 with 2,061 U.S. adult residents, including 538 likely GOP primary voters, and the margin of error is 3% for the overall poll and 5.7% for the likely GOP primary voters.