President Joe Biden would be vaulted to a massive lead over former president Donald Trump if he faces further criminal charges from the federal and state criminal investigations into his conduct, according to a new poll obtained by The Independent.
The poll of 1,571 registered voters was conducted by WPA Research, a Republican polling firm that advises Never Back Down, the Super PAC founded to boost Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ soon-to-be announced presidential campaign.
It found that voters currently prefer Mr Biden over Mr Trump by a margin of 47 per cent to 40 per cent, including a 14-point lead for the sitting president among registered Independents.
That’s five points worse than the nine-point deficit among Independents that led to Mr Trump losing to Mr Biden in 2020.
The twice-impeached ex-president would also be a drag for down-ballot Republicans if he appears on the top line of a 2024 general election ballot, with Democrats holding a five-point advantage on a generic congressional ballot, 47 per cent to 42 per cent.
Although the WPA poll found dismal polling results for Mr Trump at the time of the survey, his chances of beating Mr Biden would become even more remote if he were to face charges from the state and federal prosecutors currently weighing whether to seek indictments against the ex-president.
According to the survey, the seven-point deficit between the former and current president would grow by ten points if he is indicted by Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis, the prosecutor who supervised a special grand jury probe into Mr Trump’s efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss in the Peach State.
Were Ms Willis to successfully seek an indictment against Mr Trump from a grand jury, Mr Biden’s advantage would grow to ten points, 49 per cent to 39 percent.
Among Independents, Mr Trump’s deficit would grow to 21 points, with 50 per cent saying they’d vote for Mr Biden if he is indicted in Georgia compared with 29 percent who said they’d vote for the ex-president.
The investigation into Mr Trump’s alleged unlawful retention of classified documents would put him in slightly more electoral peril if the prosecutor overseeing that probe, Special Counsel Jack Smith, convinces a grand jury to approve charges against the former president.
If Mr Smith successfully obtains an indictment against Mr Trump, he would face an 11-point deficit against Mr Biden, who would lead him by a margin of 50 per cent to 39 per cent.
Mr Biden’s advantage among Independents would be 21 points strong, 50 per cent to 30 per cent.
The survey did find that 68 per cent of Republicans would “definitely” vote for the ex-president if he is indicted in either case, but Mr Biden’s margin against him would nonetheless grow because Mr Trump would lose five percentage points of support from GOP voters.
Losing five per cent of Republican support would give Mr Biden two more percentage points of support from GOP voters, rising from five per cent to seven per cent.
Mr Trump’s share of GOP respondents who said they’d “probably” vote to give a second term also falls from 13 per cent to nine per cent if he is indicted in Georgia, and the number of currently “undecided” self-identified GOP voters would increase from nine to 10 per cent if he is indicted in Georgia, with that number growing to 11 per cent if he is indicted by a federal grand jury;
Amanda Iovino, a Principal at WPA, said in a statement that Mr Biden “would be spared a much-needed one-way trip to Delaware” if Mr Trump ends up the GOP nominee in next year’s general election.
“Contrary to what one may hear on Truth Social, Trump’s indictment, in either the pending Georgia or federal cases, would energize Democrats, not Republicans, potentially producing the worst loss for a GOP presidential candidate in 60 years. In the process, Republicans would lose control of the House and forego pick-up opportunities in the Senate,” she said.