Indictment could benefit Trump politically, polling data suggests
Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis / Gage Skidmore

Nancy Pelosi in 2019 warned that impeaching Donald Trump could lead to unintended consequences.

“Don’t tell anybody I told you this,” the former House Speaker and current Democratic congresswoman said at the 2019 event held by Cornell University’s Institute of Politics and Global Affairs.

“Trump — I use his name — Trump is goading us to impeach him,” Pelosi said.

Pelosi sensed that Trump would be able to use to his advantage what would be a liability for a more conventional politician, noting that “he knows that it would be very divisive in the country, but he doesn’t really care.

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“He just wants to solidify his base.”

On what many legal experts believe to be the eve of an imminent indictment against the former president by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Jr., newly released polling data suggests Pelosi’s assertion appears to have merit.

The findings of a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday show Trump expanding his lead over Ron DeSantis, the Florida governor who has not yet declared his candidacy but is expected to run.

According to the poll, 77% of registered Republican voters have a favorable view of Trump, and the former president has a 46% - 32% lead over DeSantis.

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In a head-to-head matchup between the two frontrunners, Trump leads 51% to 40%.

In a February Quinnipiac poll, Trump led DeSantis by just six percentage points (42% to 36%).

"DeSantis might be the buzz in the GOP conversation, but for now Trump is seeing no erosion and, in fact, enjoys a bump in his lead in the Republican primary," Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy said.

Trump during an appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) earlier this month vowed to stay in the race should he be indicted, and predicted it would benefit him politically, The Hill reports.

“Oh, absolutely, I won’t even think about leaving,” Trump told reporters at the event, noting that “probably it’ll enhance my numbers, but it’s a very bad thing for America. It’s very bad for the country.”

An indictment of the former president figures to put his rivals in a political quandary that has the potential to scramble the race, according to a Business Insider report, which notes that in the immediate aftermath of the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago in the classified documents probe, DeSantis accused authorities of going "totally off the rails," and former Vice President Mike Pence expressed "deep concern."