OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former President Donald Trump may be continuing to face legal challenges in New York and Georgia, but those cases do not seem to have hurt him politically, according to a major new 2024 presidential poll.
In fact, a perception that he’s being targeted politically may even be helping him ahead of a potential 2020 rematch against President Joe Biden.
According to the latest Harvard-Harris poll, there has been a notable surge in support for Trump, suggesting a potential path to victory next year if he secures the GOP nomination. The poll results indicate that Trump continues to maintain a formidable presence, despite various legal challenges, while also enjoying a substantial lead over his Democratic counterparts.
The poll reveals a remarkable surge in popularity for Trump, who garnered 47 percent approval from respondents, surpassing Biden’s approval rating of 40 percent, giving Trump a clear 7-point lead.
The survey also assessed hypothetical contests involving Trump and other prominent Democrats. The results, for instance, showed Trump with 50 percent support compared to Vice President Kamala Harris, who trailed behind at 39 percent.
As for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has not yet declared his candidacy but is expected to as early as this week, the results showed him in a dead heat with Biden at 42 percent apiece, which was the same outcome as a potential DeSantis-Harris matchup.
Meanwhile, according to the survey, less than 33 percent of respondents believe that the country is moving in the right direction, which is a clear indication of the lack of confidence in Biden’s policies. Additionally, an alarming 66 percent of the participants expressed concern about the direction of the U.S. economy, an indication they believe it is heading in the wrong direction — a clear reflection of a perception that the current administration is unable to manage the country’s financial well-being.
At the same time, half of respondents reported that their personal finances have worsened during the Biden presidency. And according to the poll, a mere 21 percent of respondents expressed confidence in avoiding a potential recession.
Overall, there is a worrying trend of pessimism regarding the country’s economic prospects, which is likely to increase the likelihood of more Americans supporting Trump’s return to the presidency, given his reputation for being a capable leader in creating jobs and strengthening the economy.
Over the past few months, Biden’s approval ratings have been stagnant, hovering just above 40 percent. However, the approval ratings of the GOP have slightly declined to 47 percent, and the Democratic Party’s approval is now tied with the Republicans at 47 percent. There has been a modest increase in congressional approval ratings to 36 percent.
But taken in sum, the poll’s findings suggest that the American people remain disenchanted with the current political landscape.
Finally, the poll found that the most favorable public figures currently are Trump, DeSantis, and billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk.
Earlier this month, an ABC/Washington Post survey also found Trump with a 7-point lead over Biden.
“According to the survey, the president trails his predecessor by 7 points in a hypothetical 2024 general election matchup. Respondents were asked whether they would ‘definitely’ vote for Trump or Biden, ‘probably’ vote for Trump or Biden, or vote for someone else or not vote at all. Among those who ‘definitely’ prefer one candidate over the other, Trump leads Biden 36-32. But when those ‘probably’ voting are added to the tally, Trump’s margin balloons to 7 points — as he holds a 45-38 advantage over Biden,” Mediaite reported, citing the results.
“The poll found Biden would fare only slightly better if the Republican nominee were Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL). The president is tied with DeSantis 32-32 among those ‘definitely’ backing a particular candidate. But when the ‘probably’ category is added, DeSantis pulls ahead 42-37,” Mediaite added.