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From the journalists at NBC News and the NBC News Political Unit

Former President Donald Trump departs after speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference on March 4, at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md.Alex Brandon / AP

Most Republicans say possible criminal charges shouldn't disqualify Trump, poll finds

Almost three-quarters of Republicans believe Trump has had a mainly positive impact on their party.


Most Republicans do not believe that former President Donald Trump should be disqualified from running for the White House if he faces criminal charges, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University.

The Manhattan District Attorney's office has been investigating Trump related to alleged hush money payments to an adult film star who claimed she had an affair with Trump, all ahead of his 2016 campaign. While Trump said this month he expected to be arrested in the probe, no charges have been announced and the New York grand jury considering the case is not expected to be asked to vote on an indictment this week, NBC News is reporting.

Trump is also facing multiple investigations into his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, as well as his handling of classified documents.

While a majority of Americans (57%) believe criminal charges should disqualify Trump, most Republicans (75%) disagree. A majority of independents (55%) and almost all Democrats (88%) believe they should be disqualifying.

A sizable majority of Republicans (73%) also believe Trump has had a mainly positive impact on the Republican party. Just 20% believe Trump has had a negative impact.

That view among Republicans underscores how Trump continues to dominate the potential GOP presidential primary field even as he faces multiple investigations and a potential indictment.

In a field of 15 current and potential candidates, Trump has support from 47% of registered Republican and Republican-leaning voters, followed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at 33%, who has not yet launched his presidential campaign.

None of the other current or potential candidates receive double-digit levels of support. Former Vice President Mike Pence has support from 5%; former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley is at 4%; Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz is at 2% and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem is at 2%. The rest of the field has support from 1% or less.

The Quinnipiac poll surveyed 1,788 U.S. adults from March 23rd — 27th with a margin of error of +/- 2.3 percentage points. The survey included 1,600 self-identified registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points. The survey included 671 Republican and Republican leaning voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percentage points.