Donald Trump's support among Republicans seemed to be wavering as a majority of party loyalists said they were open to backing a different GOP presidential nominee.
The FBI's search of Trump's Mar-a-Lago property for highly classified documents on August 8 has changed that.
A majority of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents now prefer Trump over someone else, according to a new Yahoo News/You Gov poll. Before the Mar-a-Lago search, those numbers were 45% and 42%.
In a one-on-one match, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was within striking distance of Trump. According to the new poll, Trump has opened up an 18 point lead over his potential rival.
A full 56% of Americans think that Trump shouldn't be allowed to serve as president again in the future if he's found guilty of mishandling classified documents, which is exactly what the FBI is investigating him for. 26% of people think that Trump should be allowed to take the presidency again.
The survey shows both the political risks and rewards for Trump. On the other hand, the Republicans seem to have rallied around him in the wake of the search, giving him a chance to face off against Biden again. A majority of Americans don't think it's a good idea to handle highly classified documents.
What kind of proof will emerge in the weeks and months ahead could determine Trump's political future.
The Americans are clear about their ethics. The majority of Republicans say that presidents should be very careful when handling highly classified documents. It was wrong for Trump to take highly classified documents with him to Mar-a-Lago, according to a majority of people. A majority of people say it was illegal.
There are differing views about what exactly Trump has done and what U.S. authorities should do in response. A plurality (in the mid- to high 40s) who are convinced of Trump's wrongdoing, a minority (in the low 30s) who are convinced of the opposite, and 20% to 25% who are unsure are the same number of people. For example.
Almost half of Americans think the search was justified.
A majority of Americans think that Trump is hiding something about the documents.
When the Justice Department asked Trump to return the documents, 42% said he didn't cooperate, 29% said he did, and 24% weren't sure.
The Department of Justice should prosecute Trump for taking highly classified documents, according to 45% of people.
42% of people think the FBI is treating Trump fairly, while 31% think it's treating Trump unfairly.
About 80% of Democrats are against Trump, while only a small percentage of Republicans are in agreement with him. Some Republicans and Independents are not sure. A plurality of Republicans are unsure if it was legal for Trump to take the documents or not.
If the Justice Department charges Trump, there is a chance of a court convicting him. Those are very large ifs. Republican voters may still be hesitant to back Trump's false claim that the election was stolen.
Mar-a-Lago appears to be helping Trump consolidate his position among GOP voters, even as Biden continues to lead in the general election among all registered voters. More than half of the Republicans think that Trump would be a better candidate in the next election. He would be weaker according to a small number of people. More people think that Trump is helping than hurting the GOP.
Huge majorities of Republicans and 2020 Trump voters are against the FBI and the Department of Justice.
The FBI is rated unfavorably by a majority of 2020 Trump voters.
Garland is rated unfavorably by half of Republicans and half of Trump voters.
A majority of Republicans and Trump voters don't have a lot of confidence in the DOJ.
More than half of Trump voters think Garland should be impeached for authorizing the search of Mar-a-Lago. A plurality of Trump voters think the FBI should be defunded for searching Mar-a-Lago, while the same number think the FBI planted evidence against Donald Trump.
Biden voters think that Trump was planning to sell state secrets before the FBI searched. There is no evidence of the FBI planting evidence against Trump.
The Yahoo News survey used a nationally representative sample of 1,563 people. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race and education based on the American Community Survey conducted by the US Bureau of the Census. The respondents were selected from the opt-in panel. There is a margin of error.