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After indictment, majority want Trump to drop out, but he's getting stronger with GOP

A supporter of former President Donald Trump wears an "I Love Trump" pin while waiting for him to speak at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., Tuesday.
Mary Altaffer
/
AP
A supporter of former President Donald Trump wears an "I Love Trump" pin while waiting for him to speak at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., Tuesday.

Given his indictment by a federal grand jury in Florida, a majority of Americans say they think former President Donald Trump should drop out of the race for president, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey.

But the opposite is true of Republicans, most of whom not only like him but want him to be president again.

Division over Trump keeps widening

  • Independent problems: A majority of independents (58%) think Trump should drop out. They have also jumped 9 points — to 50% — in thinking Trump has done something illegal since March, before the New York indictment and the $5 million judgment against Trump for sexual abuse. 
  • A stronger hand with Republicans: At the same time, more than 8 in 10 (83%) of Republicans think he should stay in the race, two-thirds (64%) say Trump is their choice in the GOP primary going forward, and Trump's favorability rating with Republicans and Republican-leaning independents has jumped 8 points since February. Republicans have also gone up 5 points since March in thinking Trump has done nothing wrong, the inverse of the rest of the country.
  • Three-quarters of Americans think Trump did something wrong

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  • 50% say they believe Trump broke the law, including 78% of Democrats and half of independents. Another 23% say he did something unethical, but not illegal.
  • 50% of Republicans, though, say he did nothing wrong. A third of Republicans think he did something unethical, but not illegal.
  • Three-quarters of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents like Trump

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  • Trump gets a 76%-19% favorable rating from Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. Even 70% of independents who lean toward the GOP view Trump favorably.
  • Trump's strongest support in the party is coming from less-educated, lower-income Republicans — and women

  • He's best liked by whites who didn't graduate from college (85%), those who make less than $50,000 a year (83%), those who live in small towns (83%), GOP and GOP-leaning women (81%) and white evangelical Christians (81%).
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  • There's a clear dichotomy between who says they prefer Trump and who says they'd rather vote for another Republican candidate. These same voter groups are also the most likely to say they support Trump — and not another candidate for the nomination. Trump's main support comes from those who make less than $50,000 a year (78%), those who do not hold a college degree (73%), Republican women (73%) and core Republicans (68%).
  • His level of support in the primary is weakest with those who graduated from college (49%), Republican-leaning independents (50%) and those who make more than $50,000 a year (54%)
  • Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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    Domenico Montanaro is NPR's senior political editor/correspondent. Based in Washington, D.C., his work appears on air and online delivering analysis of the political climate in Washington and campaigns. He also helps edit political coverage.