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Poll: 1 in 8 GOP Voters Want a Candidate Who Will “Win” in 2024 by Any Means

Only a quarter of GOP voters believe Trump should suspend his campaign over the indictments he faces.

Trump supporters near the U.S. Capitol following a rally on January 6, 2021, in Washington, D.C.

A new poll indicates that half of Republican voters either think it’s acceptable for the GOP’s eventual presidential nominee to “win” the 2024 election through whatever means necessary, or errantly believe that actions like those taken by former President Donald Trump in 2020 fall within presidential election rules and norms.

The poll, conducted by FiveThirtyEight/Ipsos and published by The Washington Post this week, asked voters planning to take part in the Republican primary elections and caucuses their opinions on specific candidates. The poll also asked respondents which type of candidate they would prefer to win the party’s nomination contests: someone who respects the rules and customs of U.S. presidential elections, or someone who would do whatever it takes (including breaking those rules) in order to win the White House.

Thirteen percent of respondents — just slightly more than one in eight Republican voters — preferred a candidate who would win by any means necessary, even if it meant breaking the rules.

The poll highlighted that the more conservative a Republican voter is, the more likely they are to hold that opinion. Among individuals who described themselves as “extremely conservative,” one in four said it was okay for the candidate to win the general election through improper means.

While Republicans who think this way don’t constitute a majority or plurality of GOP voters, many of the Republicans planning to vote in the GOP primary contests are convinced that actions that are improper are, in fact, legitimate ways to win an election. As The Washington Post pointed out, three in eight GOP voters believe that Trump’s actions in 2020 — including his attempts to game the Electoral College by ordering his vice president to disregard duly chosen electors in favor of fake electors assembled by his campaign — were in accordance with rules and customs of presidential races in the U.S.

The poll also found that most Republican voters have no issue with Trump — who is currently the GOP frontrunner for 2024 — potentially becoming the party’s nominee for president for a third straight election cycle, despite his indictments across four investigations. Only 23 percent of Republican voters planning to participate in the primaries believe Trump should suspend his campaign, while 63 percent think he should continue it. A plurality of Republican voters (40 percent) think his indictments will better his chances in the general election should he become the nominee.

Trump faces 91 criminal indictment charges so far in two state- and two federal-based investigations. On Thursday, he was arraigned for the fourth time, booked in a Fulton County, Georgia, jail where his mugshot was taken — the first time he was required to pose for a mugshot after being arrested, and the first time an ex-president has ever had to pose for a mugshot in U.S. history.

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