Mar-a-Lago search boosts Trump within Republicans

Earlier this summer, Donald Trump’s once staunch support among Republicans appeared to be shaken as a majority of Republicans said they were willing to endorse another Republican presidential candidate in 2024. It looked like

But the FBI’s decision to search Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property for classified documents on Aug. 8, coupled with the ex-president’s ferocious backlash, seems to have changed that.

according to new Yahoo News/YouGov poll, A majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents now prefer Trump (54%) over “someone else” (34%) for the 2024 nomination. Just prior to the Mar-a-Lago search, these numbers were 47% and 38%, respectively.

FBI Search for Donald Trump and Mar-a-Lago.

FBI Search for Donald Trump and Mar-a-Lago. (Photo illustration: Yahoo News, photo: AP, Jon Elswick/AP, Marco Bello/Reuters)

Similarly, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (34%) was very close to Trump (44%) in a one-on-one matchup before the Mar-a-Lago hunt. Since then, Trump has extended his 18-point lead (49% to 31%) over his potential rival, according to new polls.

At the same time, however, 56% of Americans said Trump “should not be allowed to run for president again in the future” if he “is convicted of mishandling classified documents.” I’m here. For. In that scenario, only 26% said Trump should be allowed to run as president again.

A survey of 1,563 US adults conducted Aug. 18-22 highlights both the political risks and rewards for Trump of the Mar-a-Lago situation. On the one hand, Republicans seem to be rallying around him in response to the search, raising the odds of facing off against President Biden again in 2024. On the other hand, a clear majority of Americans consider it an unfit crime to mishandle highly classified documents.

The question that could determine Trump’s political future is what evidence will emerge in the coming weeks or months.

Americans are clear about ethics here. 77% of him, including 76% of Republicans, say the president needs to be “very careful” when “handling sensitive documents and information.” Nearly six in 10 (58%) said Trump was “wrong” to “take classified documents to Marlago after leaving office.” Only 15% said yes. A majority (54%) said it was “illegal” (only 20% said it was “legal”).

More ambiguous, more divided on partisan lines, are views on exactly what Trump did or didn’t do, and what U.S. officials should do in response. Nearly every question that touches on these issues leads to the same numbers. The majority (mid-to-late 40s) believe Trump is cheating, the minority (early 30s) believe the opposite, about 20%. Unknown is 25% of him. for example:

● 48% of Americans believe their searches are ‘justified’. 34% believe it was ‘unjustified’. 18% are unknown.

● 46% of Americans say they think Trump is “hiding something” about the documents. 30% don’t. 24% are unknown.

● 46% said Trump did not “fully cooperate” with the Justice Department when asked to return the documents. 29% said he cooperated. 24% are unknown.

● 47% said the Justice Department should prosecute Trump for obtaining classified documents. 32% believe they should not be prosecuted. 20% are unknown.

● 48% say the FBI treats Trump “fairly”. 31% say they treat Trump “unfairly”. 20% are unknown.

In each case, about 80% of Democrats are against Trump, while only about 60% to 65% of Republicans are for Trump. A sizeable minority of Republicans and independents remain unknown. Surprisingly, several Republicans said they were “not sure” whether it was legal or illegal for Trump to obtain (38%) or keep (43%) the documents.

This suggests that if the Justice Department chooses to indict Trump, it could indeed move, and eventually a court will convict him. But those are very big ifs. And Trump, who has successfully persuaded Republicans to back his false claim that the 2020 election was stolen, may win over hesitant Republican voters here.

Supporters of former President Donald Trump drove by the Paul G. Rogers Federal Building in West Palm Beach, Fla. The A-Lago estate should be sealed.

Supporters of former President Donald Trump drove by the Paul G. Rogers Federal Building in West Palm Beach, Fla. The A-Lago estate should be sealed. (Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images)

More directly, Mar-a-Lago appears to be helping Trump cement his position among Republican voters ahead of the 2024 presidential primary (Biden is registered (despite continuing to lead 46% to 42% in the general election matchup among all voters). His 57% of Republicans now believe Trump will be the leading candidate in 2024 than he does in 2020. Even more say Trump is helping the Republican Party (62%) rather than hurting it (22%).

Conversely, the majority of Republicans and Trump voters in 2020—a group that traditionally supports tough law enforcement—currently express negative views about the FBI, the Department of Justice, and Attorney General Merrick Garland. I’m here.

● 58% of Republicans and 69% of 2020 Trump voters disfavor the FBI.

● 50% of Republicans and 61% of Trump voters disfavor Garland.

● 65% of Republicans and 77% of Trump supporters expressed little or no trust in the Justice Department.

What’s more, 59% of Trump voters say Garland “should be impeached for authorizing the search for Mar Arago.” Even more (77%) “believe the FBI’s actions in the search for Mar-a-Lago should be investigated.” (37%) say the same number believe the FBI planted evidence against Donald Trump in Mar-a-Lago (38%) — and 45% say they don’t know.

Conversely, 56% of Biden voters and 62% of MSNBC viewers believe Trump was planning to sell state secrets before the FBI investigation. There is no public evidence of that, nor of Trump’s claims that the FBI planted evidence against him.


The Yahoo News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,563 US adults interviewed online from August 18 to August 22, 2022. Like the 2020 presidential ballot (or no vote) and voter registration status, it is administered by the U.S. Census Bureau. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to represent all adults in the United States. The margin of error is approximately 2.6%.