Former US President Donald Trump maintains a significant lead in a hypothetical Republican primary poll over his other current and potential GOP challengers despite his indictment by a court in New York City, according to a new poll.
The Yahoo News-YouGov poll was conducted a day after Trump's indictment on Thursday. The indictment has been filed under seal and will be announced in the coming days. The charges are not publicly known at this time.
The poll found Trump holding a 31-point lead over his next closest potential Republican rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, with 52 percent of the vote. DeSantis came in second with 21 percent, followed by former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley with 5 percent and former Vice President Mike Pence with 3 percent.
The rest of the current and possible candidates included in the poll received 2 percent or less, while 11 percent said they were not sure.
Trump leads DeSantis by 26 points, 57 percent to 31 percent, while 12 percent said they were not sure, in a head-to-head matchup.
The most recent poll found 54 percent of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents would prefer Trump to be the Republican nominee in 2024, while only a third said they would prefer someone else.
Trump’s indictment is of historic significance as no former president has ever been indicted on criminal charges.
The Manhattan grand jury indicted Trump on more than 30 criminal charges related to business fraud, according to Trump's lawyer, Joe Tacopina, as well as other sources familiar with the matter.
One of the cases, in particular, is related to the cover-up of a hush money payment to adult movies actress Stormy Daniels back in 2016.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office has been investigating the former president for his alleged role in the hush money payment.
According to Daniels, she and Trump had a sexual encounter and he paid her $130,000 through his former lawyer before the 2016 US presidential election in exchange for her silence about the affair.
DeSantis called the indictment "an un-American" move. "The weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda turns the rule of law on its head," DeSantis tweeted.
He accused the Manhattan District Attorney of being under the influence of Democratic billionaire George Soros, as well as "stretching the law to target a political opponent."
Daniels called Trump’s indictment “poetic” but “bittersweet” in her first comments since the district attorney’s office announced the decision Thursday.
“Trump is no longer untouchable,” Daniels told the Times of London. “A person in power is not exempt from the law. And no matter what your job is, or what your bank account says, you’re held accountable for the things you’ve said and done, and justice is served.”
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