Donald Trump widens lead over Republican rival despite legal woes, poll shows

Donald Trump has widened his lead over his nearest Republican rival in the race to be the party’s US presidential candidate despite his mounting legal troubles, according to a new NBC News poll.

Mr Trump is seeking to run for the White House again at next year’s US election but faces competition from the likes of Florida governor Ron DeSantis and former vice president Mike Pence.

A survey for NBC News, Sky’s US partner network, shows Mr Trump has widened his lead over nearest rival Mr DeSantis in the last month, with 51% of people surveyed saying they would place him as first choice in a primary ballot.

Only 22% would put Mr DeSantis top – a gap of 29% between the two men.

In May, Mr Trump was on 46%, with Mr DeSantis on 31%, a gap of only 15%.

Meanwhile, Mr Pence only gets 7% of support in the latest polling.

Half of Republicans also want Mr Trump to continue as the party’s leader.

The survey was conducted between the 16 and 20 June – a week after Mr Trump was indicted on criminal charges for allegedly mishandling classified information that was discovered at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

However, while Mr Trump may enjoy growing support from Republican primary voters, the general population in the US still has concerns about him, with incumbent US leader Joe Biden enjoying a four point lead over his predecessor.

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In terms of Mr Trump’s criminal charges, 77% of Republican voters say they had either minor or no concerns about the case, compared to 55% of all voters who have either major or moderate concerns.

Mr Trump is currently facing a number of legal troubles, namely being indicted on 37 felony counts related to retaining classified information, obstructing justice and false statements.

He has also facing charges in New York over alleged hush money payments he made to porn actress Stormy Daniels, and accusations of falsifying of business records around them.

Mr Trump has denied all charges against him.

The NBC News poll was conducted June 16-20, and included 1,000 registered voters – 831 of whom were reached by mobile phone – and has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points.

Among the poll’s 500 Republican primary voters, the margin of error is plus-minus 4.38 percentage points

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