A recent poll showing President Joe Biden ahead of Donald Trump in a 2024 rematch if the former president is convicted of the indictments he’s facing was conducted by the pollster working with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ super PAC.
As in other polls connected to the DeSantis camp, the latest survey does not include basic topline and demographic information.
Biden leads Trump by 6 percentage points — 45 percent to 39 percent — when respondents were asked how they would vote if Trump is convicted of any of the four felony indictments against him and remains on the 2024 presidential ballot.
Biden holds a 43 percent to 41 percent edge even if the former president is not convicted on any of the counts. Another 11 percent of respondents were undecided.
The survey, with a reported margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent, “suggests that President Joe Biden’s current challenges in generating enthusiasm for his re-election bid could be mitigated by Republicans nominating former President Donald Trump as their party’s nominee in 2024.”
The poll, exclusively shared with the New York Post, was conducted by WPA Intelligence. As the Post notes, the Washington, D.C.-based survey research and predictive analytics firm is lead by Chris Wilson. Wilson also is in charge of polling and data for Never Back Down PAC, the DeSantis backing Super PAC that boasted nearly $100 million in cash on hand as of June 30, the most recent Federal Election Commission filing date.
Never Back Down late last month announced it would spend $25 million this fall targeting early nominating state voters, including more than $11 million in Iowa. The PAC’s driving message is that the Florida governor is the only GOP presidential candidate who can beat Biden; more so, that Trump can’t.
Trump is dominating the GOP presidential field in just about every poll out there, leading his closest competitor DeSantis by more than 40 points in the latest RealClearPolitics average of polls. DeSantis has seen his poll numbers plummet since entering the race. In several polls, the former president is leading Biden.
The Trump campaign didn’t mince words about the latest DeSantis-connected poll.
“Ron DeSanctimonious’ pollsters are idiots,” Jason Miller, Trump advisor told The Star News Network, using one of Trump’s nicknames for the Florida governor. “Whether it be ABC/WaPo, HarrisX, or countless other independent polls, the result is the same: President Trump will crush Ron DeSanctus in the primary, and then he will defeat Crooked Joe Biden so we can get our economy back on track.”
Trump, who asserts he’s the target of a political witch hunt by the Democrat president and his liberal allies, has said he will continue to run for president if convicted and sentenced. There’s nothing in the constitution to prevent him from doing so.
It’s certainly conceivable that a conviction could hurt Trump’s chances to retake the White House. Nearly half of Republican voters who responded to a Reuters/Ipsos poll said they would not vote for the former president should he be convicted of a felony.
But that poll, unlike the WPA Intelligence survey, includes important topline and demographic information on the respondents surveyed.
When The Star requested polling background information, a WPA Intelligence official sent the same limited data included in the New York Post piece — no demographics, no wording in the topline to check for any bias of questions.
The online poll of 1,005 registered voters nationally, conducted Sept. 15-19, “was stratified by geography, age, race, partisanship, gender and vote history to ensure a representative sample.” But just exactly who was in that sample is not included in the poll information.
Trump pollster John McLaughlin says the poll smacks of desperation.
“The never Trumpers are a very small minority in the party and they are running out of options,” said McLaughlin, CEO of New York-based McLaughlin and Associates. “They’ve spent tens of millions of dollars on this Super PAC and have gotten noting for it. So now they’re trying to manufacture polls because the hedge funds that own them are probably desperate for a return on their investment.”
Lack of transparency has been a recurring issue in DeSantis-connected polls.
As The Star News Network has extensively reported, Republican pollster Public Opinion Strategies (POS) rolled out a bunch of battleground state polls earlier this year insisting DeSantis fared better than Trump in head-to-head match-ups with Biden. But those polls have consistently underrepresented traditional Trump voters in the quest to spin DeSantis as more electable than the Republican Party presidential nomination frontrunner.
Ultimately, POS refused to release topline and demographic information to The Star News Network. The firm also wouldn’t talk about the people paying for the poll.
POS partners Gene Ulm and Robert Blizzard, shortly after DeSantis announced his run for the White House in May, said they would be working for the campaign.
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M.D. Kittle is the National Political Editor for The Star News Network.
Photo “Joe Biden” by Joe Biden.