Poll: Donald Trump has Republican support but independent voters aren't sold The latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll shows that a majority of Americans do not want former President Donald Trump to hold that office again, as his campaign for 2024 is in full swing.

Don't call them 'witch hunts.' Most Americans say investigations into Trump are fair

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A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:

Another week, another round of waiting for a potential indictment of former President Donald Trump. Last week, Trump claimed he was going to be arrested in a hush money case out of New York. He was not. He is, though, using the investigation to help him with his base and raise money. So how do Americans feel about the multiple criminal investigations into his conduct not just in New York, but in Georgia and two federal cases? A new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll out this morning asked more than 1,300 respondents just that.

Here to explain is NPR senior political editor and correspondent Domenico Montanaro. So what do people make of these investigations into the former president?

DOMENICO MONTANARO, BYLINE: Well, a majority, 56%, say that they're fair, while 4 in 10 call them a witch hunt. That, of course, echoes Trump and his allies and how they talk about these investigations. And as we continue to see, huge partisan divide here. Nine in 10 Democrats say the investigations are fair. Eight in 10 Republicans call them a witch hunt. And independents are closely split, with a slim majority calling them fair.

Those most likely to say the investigations are fair are younger people - those in the Gen Z and Millennial generations - people who live in big cities and suburbs and white college grads, especially college-educated white women. They've been one of the most reliable Democratic voter and anti-Trump groups. The most likely to call them a witch hunt, key, core Trump-supporting groups - white men without college degrees, white evangelical Christians and those who live in small towns.

MARTÍNEZ: OK. Now, do the people who responded to the poll think that Donald Trump did anything wrong?

MONTANARO: Well, overwhelmingly, the majority did think he did at least something wrong, you know? Three-quarters say they think he either did something illegal or that he did something unethical but not illegal. Only a quarter say he did nothing wrong at all. Breaking that down, almost half say they think he did something illegal, 29% say unethical but not illegal. And only 11% of Republicans think he did something illegal.

But interestingly, there is a split among Republicans. You know, they're pretty evenly divided between those who think he did something unethical and those who say he did nothing wrong at all. That's pretty reflective of the Republican presidential primary right now if you look at that, because we've been seeing that almost half of GOP voters say they're at least open to someone other than Trump, but that Trump has a pretty strong hold on the other half so far.

MARTÍNEZ: So - OK. So speaking of that, then, is there anything here about Trump's prospects for his 2024 run?

MONTANARO: Yeah. Well, let's first start out with how people feel about him because that sets a pretty good baseline. Overall, he's still pretty highly disliked. Fifty-one percent have an unfavorable opinion of Trump, just 39% have a favorable one. Republicans, though, love him. Eight in 10 Republicans have a positive view of Trump. Just 14% say they have a negative one. But there's a continued warning sign for him with independents. Just 37% say they like him. We also asked people if they want Trump to be president again. And here, 6 in 10 say they do not. But look at these splits - 9 in 10 Democrats and almost two-thirds of independents say no. But three-quarters of Republicans say they do want him to be president again.

MARTÍNEZ: All right. So that's a pretty big gap. I mean, what does this say...

MONTANARO: Huge gap.

MARTÍNEZ: Yeah. What does this say then about his chances to be president again?

MONTANARO: You know, it really represents the conundrum that is Trump and the GOP primary. I mean, often, primary voters become practical and say - you know what? - we want someone who can win. But there is this CNN poll out last week that showed Republican voters would rather have someone who agrees with them rather than someone who can beat Biden. That's completely different than where the Democratic base was before the 2020 election. And, you know, when you look at these kinds of numbers in our poll, theirs and others, it's hard to see how he wins a general election, but also loses a Republican primary.

MARTÍNEZ: That's NPR's Domenico Montanaro. Thanks a lot.

MONTANARO: You're welcome.

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