Trump improves lead over Republican primary rivals after mugshot release


Donald Trump extended his lead over his Republican nomination rivals in a series of polls conducted since the release of his mugshot in Fulton county after he surrendered on charges that he conspired to subvert the 2020 election in Georgia and his absence from the first GOP primary debate.

The former US president held commanding advantages across the board in recent surveys done for the Trump campaign and for Morning Consult, leading his nearest challenger, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, in the overall race, in a head-to-head matchup, and in favorability ratings.

That outcome has been a trend for Trump who has seen polling and fundraising boosts with each indictment this year – in the hush-money case in New York, in the classified documents case in Florida, and in the federal 2020 election subversion case in Washington.

The polling commissioned and touted by the Trump campaign in the days after Trump surrendered at the Fulton county jail suggests the release of his mugshot that underscored his legal jeopardy and skipping the first GOP debate has not weakened him among likely Republican primary voters.

Overall, Trump polled at 58% compared with DeSantis at 13% among roughly 2,700 likely Republican primary voters surveyed by Coefficient, improving his lead by three points since the start of the month. No other candidate topped 10%.

The Trump campaign polling was consistent with a Morning Consult poll which found Trump’s lead unshaken in the immediate aftermath of the release of his mugshot and the first Republican primary debate, with Trump at 58%, DeSantis at 14% and no other candidate again above 10%.

The survey found that even if all the other candidates withdrew for a unified opposition against Trump, the former president would win the hypothetical head-to-head race against DeSantis by almost a two-to-one margin, 62% to 23%.

Notably, in the days after Trump’s surrender in Fulton county, the share of voters who believed Trump is guilty of the charges dropped by 11%, while the share of voters who believed Trump was being indicted as part of an effort to stop him running for president held at 74%.