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Share of Republicans identifying as Trump supporters ticks up after indictment, poll finds

“The New York indictment did strengthen [Trump’s] standing with Republicans,” pollster says.

By and

The latest national NBC News poll not only shows former President Donald Trump leading the early 2024 Republican race for president, and having nearly 70% of GOP primary voters standing behind him after his recent arrest and arraignment. 

It also finds the share of Republican respondents who identify more as Trump supporters than party supporters increasing since his indictment.

According to the poll, 37% of Republicans say they identify more as supporters of Trump than supporters of the Republican Party — up from the 33% who said this in January’s NBC News poll, though the movement is within the poll’s margin of error.

By contrast, 54% of Republican respondents say they identify more as party supporters than Trump supporters — down from 62% in January.

Indeed, the pollsters who conduct the NBC News survey observe it’s become a pattern that the share of Trump-first supporters increases when there’s the perception that the former president is under attack. This also happened in Aug. 2022 when FBI agents searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home for classified documents.

“The New York indictment did strengthen [Trump’s] standing with Republicans,” said GOP pollster Bill McInturff, the Republican half of the polling team that conducts the NBC News survey.

But McInturff cautions that the numbers could change as time passes. “I think we should be very careful what these things mean as time goes by,” he said.

The NBC News poll was conducted April 14-18 of 1,000 adults — including 861 reached by cell phone — and it has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points.

The margin of error for the poll’s 367 Republicans is plus-minus 5.12 percentage points.