Donald Trump has Republican support but independent voters aren’t sold: NPR

Former President Donald Trump gestures to supporters after speaking at a campaign rally at the Waco Regional Airport in Waco, Texas, Saturday, March 25, 2023.

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Nathan Howard/AP

Former President Donald Trump gestures to supporters after speaking at a campaign rally at the Waco Regional Airport in Waco, Texas, Saturday, March 25, 2023.

Nathan Howard/AP

A majority of Americans say the multiple criminal investigations into former President Donald Trump’s conduct are justified, despite Trump’s continued efforts to claim a conspiracy against him. A recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll Finds out.

The survey of more than 1,300 adults found that despite love for Trump among Republicans, Trump remains deeply unpopular and continues to struggle with independents — and 6 in 10 Americans do not want him to be president again.

The results come as the money probe from New York has raised fears that Trump could be arrested. Trump faces at least three criminal investigations — two federal, one investigating classified documents found at his Florida home and one examining his role in the January 6 riots, as well as one from Georgia, looking at his pressure campaign to overturn the results. He lost the 2020 presidential election.

They also come as Trump held his first presidential campaign rally in Waco, Texas, where he described the investigations as “baseless.”Prosecutorial misconduct.”

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“Prosecutor misconduct is their new tool,” Trump said, “and they’re willing to use it to a degree that’s never been seen in our country. We’ve had it, but we’ve never had it like this. We’ve got to stop them. We can’t let them have another election with another tool in their toolbox. .”

But most Americans disagree with him. By a margin of 56% to 41% respondents said the investigations were fair and not a “witch hunt”.

As expected, there’s a big partisan divide — 9 in 10 Democrats say they’re fair, while 8 in 10 Republicans call them a witch hunt. A majority of independents call them fair, but they are closely split, 51% to 47%.

Those who say the investigations are fair include Gen Z and Millennials, residents of big cities and suburbs, and white college graduates, especially white college-educated women.

The latter is a demographic that is one of the most reliably Democratic voting — and anti-Trump — groups.

Those who say the investigations are a witch hunt are key Trump supporter groups: whites without degrees, white evangelical Christians and small-town residents.

Three-quarters say Trump did something illegal (46%) or unethical (29%). A quarter (23%) think they have done nothing wrong.

In the mirror of public perception of the ongoing investigations, the people most likely to think Trump did something illegal are white college graduates, especially white men, college-educated women, women living in small towns and suburbs, and people living in the Northeast.

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But 10% of Republicans think Trump did something illegal. They’re pretty split when it comes to whether Trump did something unethical or nothing wrong — 45% say nothing wrong, and 43% say he did something unethical but not illegal.

It reflects a split in the GOP primary. Half of Republican voters appear open to someone else, but Trump still has a significant chunk of the GOP locked up.

Republicans also like Trump a lot — 8 in 10 have a favorable opinion of him. But, more broadly, Trump remains deeply unpopular.

Overall, 39% have a favorable view of Trump, while 51% have an unfavorable view. This includes only 37% of independents who have a positive view of him.

Despite Trump’s 2024 campaign going well, 61% of respondents disapprove of Trump as president, including nearly two-thirds of independents.

For Republicans, it’s a different story — three-quarters want Trump back as president.

So Trump is very popular with the base, but politically toxic with everyone else. This represents a real conundrum for the GOP, because with numbers like these, it’s hard to see how Trump can win a general election, but defeat the Republican nominee — without the continued efforts of others in the party to go after him and the obvious vulnerabilities that have cost the GOP in recent elections.

The survey of 1,327 adults, including 1,226 registered voters, was conducted from Monday, March 20 to Thursday, March 23. This was done by phone with direct callers to cell phones and landlines, by text message and online, and in English. Spanish. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percent.

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