Following Indictment, Trump Leads Biden, Polls Show

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By Casey Harper
The Center Square

Former President Donald Trump has a slight lead against President Joe Biden in national polling even after being charged with 37 criminal counts in an indictment related to his handling of classified documents, 

Real Clear Politics’ polling average has Trump ahead of Biden by 2.4 points in a general election matchup, showing that the federal indictment against Trump has so far not sunk his chances to return to the White House. In fact, it may have bolstered them.

A Harvard CAPS Harris poll released over the weekend showed Trump winning in a head-to-head matchup against Biden by six points, 45 percent to 39 percent. The same poll found Trump would beat Vice President Kamala Harris by seven points.

Quinnipiac released a poll last week showing Biden leading Trump by four points, 48 percent to 44 percent. 

“In Quinnipiac University’s previous national poll on May 24th, Biden received 48 percent and Trump received 46 percent,” the group said. “Today’s results continue a string of close head-to-head results between Biden and Trump since Quinnipiac University started asking this question in February 2023.”

The figures from these polls are close enough to be considered a statistical tie with over a year until election day, but they demonstrate that so far the indictment has not hindered Trump’s campaign.

Trump touted his poll numbers recently, saying his fund-raising has spiked since the indictment.


Trump has also increased his lead since the indictment over his closest rival in the Republican primary, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, continuing a trend in recent weeks. Trump was also boosted in the eyes of Republicans after the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided his Florida residence last year.

According to polling averaging from FiveThirtyEight, Trump has 53.5 percent support in the Republican race, with DeSantis in second at 21 percent. That is a significant shift since the beginning of March when Trump had 46 percent support and DeSantis had 30 percent support.

Notably, Real Clear Politics’ average has DeSantis beating Biden in a matchup by 1.3 points.

The failure of the indictment to sink Trump may come in part because Biden faces his own corruption allegations, with evidence mounting that Biden and his family benefited from millions of dollars in payments made from Chinese and Ukrainian entities.

Earlier this month, House Republicans said they obtained an FBI document showing Biden himself as well as his son Hunter were allegedly paid $5 million each by an executive at the Ukrainian energy company Burisma to stop a corruption investigation.

Biden has repeatedly dismissed media inquiries about these allegations, recently calling them “malarkey.”

Another factor in polling:  a plurality of Americans say Trump’s indictment is “politically motivated.”

A recent ABC/Ipsos poll found that 47 percent of those surveyed say the federal charges against Trump are “politically motivated” compared to 37 percent who do not while the rest are unsure.

“These views are mainly driven by Republicans, while Democrats want to see Trump charged and to suspend his campaign,” Ipsos said. “Interestingly, independents are split, with roughly half agreeing with all three sentiments.”


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