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Trump, claiming arrest is imminent, trounces DeSantis in new 2024 poll

By Mark Moore

Donald Trump trounced Gov. Ron DeSantis among Republican primary voters in a poll released Tuesday that shows the former president getting a spike in support over the weekend when he claimed he would be arrested by the Manhattan district attorney.

Trump leads DeSantis 54% to 26% as the Florida governor, who has yet to formally announce a 2024 presidential run​ but is expected to be a leading contender​, recorded his lowest level of support ​in the survey ​since last December, according to the Morning Consult tracking poll.

​It was conducted between Friday and Sunday, encompassing two of the days when Trump began posting ​a series of messages on his Truth Social platform that Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg would arrest him Tuesday over a $130,000 hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels in the weeks before the 2016 election.

“THE FAR & AWAY LEADING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE & FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK. PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!” Trump wrote in an all-caps message to his supporters on Saturday.

The former president has not eased up in his attacks on Bragg, Michael Cohen — his former attorney and onetime “fixer” who became a critical witness by testifying repeatedly before the Manhattan grand jury investigating the payment — the judicial system and Daniels.

Cohen paid Daniels the $130,000 to keep her from going public before the election about a sexual encounter she alleges she had with Trump in 2006, an affair he denies.

The poll appears to show that Trump’s tirades about the investigation may be paying off with the Make America Great Again crowd.

While DeSantis falls behind in the survey, Trump is experiencing an upswing since his initial posts.

As of Friday, Trump was leading DeSantis 51% to 29%.

​By Saturday, the day of Trump’s initial postings about the indictment, ​Trump expanded his lead to 52% to 28% and then 54% to 26% on Sunday.

DeSantis was Republican voters’ top second choice for president, beating out former Vice President Mike Pence 46% to 17%.

The rest of the Republican field lagged far behind Trump and DeSantis.

Pence was the closest at 7%, followed by former US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley at 4% and former Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming at 3%.

A slew of hopefuls trailed them with 1% — including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, North Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Virginia Gov. Glenn Younkin, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.

The poll gave DeSantis some promising news in that 44% of Republican primary voters say they’ve seen, heard of read something positive about him, compared to 38% for Trump.

The former president and his allies have not taken their foot off the gas since Trump began posting on Saturday.

He accused Bragg of “prosecutorial misconduct,” claimed he was the victim of a “Stormy ‘Horse Face’ Daniels extortion plot” and called for his supporters nationwide to “protest, take our nation back” if he is arrested.

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