That majority, 57%, includes nearly nine in ten Democrats (88%), more than half (55%) of independents, and even close to one-quarter (23%) of Republicans.
"Yes, say Americans, it was all about him and not the country's well-being when Trump proclaimed he was targeted for arrest," says Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy. "And, yes he should be forever banished from office if he is charged as a criminal."
The poll serves up even more bad news for the ex-president. Despite the right's attempts to paint Trump's alleged hush money payoff as a mere bookkeeping issue, or Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's case against him, as one GOP lawmaker said recently, "wrongful persecution," the majority of Americans – 55% – say the accusations against Trump are "serious."
Conservatives' attempts to paint the investigation as political, however, appear to be working, at least among Republicans and independents.
More than nine out of ten Republicans (93%) and 70% of independents say they believe the investigation is motivated by politics, while two-thirds of Democrats (66%) say it is motived by the law.
Still more troubling news for the Trump team.
Exposing the growing partisan divide across the country, the majority of Americans, nearly six in ten (58%) say Trump has had a mainly negative impact on the Republican Party.
But inside the GOP, the view is far different.
The vast majority of Republicans (72%) say Trump has had a positive impact. Just 21% say he has had a negative impact. (The poll does not appear to take into account former Republicans who left the GOP because of Trump.)
Echoing the "positive impact" they believe Trump has had on their party, 79% of registered Republicans say they are supporters of his MAGA movement. The poll does not appear to define "support," nor the various "levels" of support some Republicans now express, including "ultra MAGA."
Meanwhile, when offered a choice between Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, Mike Pence, Nikki Haley, or 11 other Republican candidates or potential candidates, Trump gets a plurality of voters: 47%. DeSantis gets one-third, 33%. Pence gets just 5%, and Haley – who has already officially declared she is running – gets even less, at 4%.
There's little change when GOP voters are asked who they would choose in a head-to-head matchup between Trump and DeSantis. Trump gets 52%, DeSantis 42%.
And even more bad news for Team Trump: In a head-to-head matchup among registered voters, President Joe Biden would beat Donald Trump, although by a slim margin: 48% to 46%.
There is one piece of good news for the DeSantis campaign, which technically does not exist yet. DeSantis would beat Biden, also by a slim margin: 48% to 46%.
But some believe DeSantis will not run, especially given his poor campaign pre-launch. Others, like top Trump critic and former Republican George Conway, say DeSantis shouldn't even bother.
"It makes no sense for DeSantis to run this cycle," Conway said Thursday morning, unrelated to the Quinnipiac poll. "To beat Trump, DeSantis would have to go hammer and tong in a one-on-one race against him. DeSantis isn't capable of that, it isn't going to be one-on-one, and even if he were and it was, DeSantis would end up alienating a good chunk of the GOP base. And no matter what, Trump would try to destroy the GOP if it ever became clear he wouldn't get the nomination. Trump would run as a third-party candidate to take the GOP nominee down. The smart play for DeSantis is to fleece donors by pretending to run, and pocket the cash for 2028, when he'll still be only 49."