Republican voters are rallying behind former President Donald Trump after the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida, last week, according to a new poll that shows Trump gaining support in a hypothetical 2024 GOP primary to the detriment of his closest competitor, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).
GOP officials blasted the Biden administration and the FBI after federal agents swarmed Trump’s Florida residence with a search warrant for classified materials the former chief executive is accused of taking with him from the White House.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said last week he personally approved the decision to raid Trump’s home, though he declined to offer further details. The raid was reportedly part of an investigation into whether Trump violated the Espionage Act.
The FBI seized 11 sets of documents that were marked as classified from Mar-a-Lago, the Wall Street Journal first reported. Four sets of documents taken from Trump’s home were said to be marked “top secret,” three sets were reportedly marked “secret,” and a handful of other materials were marked “confidential.”
Trump and his legal team have said the documents taken to Mar-a-Lago had been declassified before Trump left office and blasted the search and seizure as unnecessary and politically-motivated. Trump called the FBI search an act of “political persecution” and a “Witch Hunt,” asserting that President Joe Biden has “weaponized” the Department of Justice against him because he is widely expected to run for president again in 2024.
A new Politico/Morning Consult poll appears to show that the former president’s message is resonating with registered GOP voters.
About three in five Republican voters say they would support Trump if the 2024 Republican presidential primary was held today, the highest number recorded since his loss in the 2020 presidential election. Trump’s support in a hypothetical 2024 primary increased from 54% in a July survey to 58% on Aug. 10, reflecting a surge of support after news broke about the FBI raid.
Trump’s gain in support was a loss for Ron DeSantis, whose 2024 backing fell five percentage points since late July, to just 16%. DeSantis, the Florida governor who is popular among Republican voters for his freedom-first approach to the COVID-19 pandemic and conservative policies asserting parental rights in education and challenging left-wing corporations like Disney, was the only other prospective candidate to register with double digits among GOP voters.
Additionally, a record-high 71% of GOP voters said that Trump should run for president again in 2024 following the FBI raid.