Poll: Trump Gains Steam Among GOPers After FBI Raid

Percentage of GOP voters who support Trump over Republican Party spikes from May, per NBC poll
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2022 12:53 PM CDT
Poll: FBI Search May Have Given Trump a Boost
Former President Donald Trump departs Trump Tower on Aug. 10 in New York.   (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

After the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago earlier this month, the walls may feel like they're closing in on former President Trump, at least from a legal standpoint. In the court of public opinion with fellow Republicans, however, that search may have helped to give Trump a boost, at least according to one new survey. An NBC News poll released Sunday, which surveyed respondents Aug. 12-16 (i.e., after the FBI visit to Mar-a-Lago), asked GOP voters if they considered themselves more supporters of Trump or of the Republican Party. When the same question was asked back in May, 34% picked Trump over party, with 58% choosing the GOP. This time around, the Trump-leaning figure jumped to 41%, while those picking the Republican Party fell to 50%.

Per Axios, other polls have been showing Trump gaining ground in recent weeks on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who'd previously been "surging in key states." A June poll out of the University of New Hampshire, for example, showed the two men statistically tied for the GOP nomination in that state. However, a poll released by New Hampshire's Saint Anselm College last week showed GOP voters preferred Trump over DeSantis 50% to 29%. This is all now leading some "Never Trump" GOP strategists to express concern over how the FBI search might have tipped the scales in Trump's favor, at least in terms of Republican sentiment. In fact, one source said to be close to Trump tells Axios that fundraising after the Aug. 8 search has been "yuge."

The NBC poll wasn't all bad news for Dems, especially regarding how they've closed the enthusiasm gap: Although 68% of Republicans said they were highly interested in the midterms, Dems came in close behind at 66%, per NBC. Contrast that 2-point gap with the 8-point gap in May, still in the favor of GOP voters, and the even bigger 17-point gap in March. And last week, the Washington Post's Philip Bump analyzed a YouGov poll conducted for the Economist that didn't seem to show a "a virulent pro-Trump surge." But Axios notes that the NBC poll's stats on how Republicans feel about Trump after the raid may signify a "Republican mindset of 'the more "they" hate him, the more I love him'—an effect Trump instinctively recognizes and exploits." (More Donald Trump stories.)

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