The post-indictment weekend polls are in, and, spoiler alert: Republican primary voters aren’t particularly concerned about Donald Trump’s mishandling of documents that included blockbuster information related to U.S. nuclear programs, weapons capabilities, military war plans, and more.

Republicans’ nonchalance about the GOP standard-bearer’s alleged violation of the Espionage Act and obstruction of justice is good news for Trump, but it presents yet another issue on which Republican voters are wildly out of step with the rest of the country.

A CBS News/YouGov survey found that while 76% of likely Republican primary voters were most concerned by the possibility that Trump’s indictment was politically motivated, just 38% of Americans expressed concern about that, while an equal percentage of Americans were most concerned that Trump’s possession of the documents presented a national security risk.

Note that among whites with a college degree, a 48% plurality were most concerned by the national security risk while a 51% majority of whites without a college degree were more concerned the indictment was politically motivated.

Outside of the indictment, when respondents were asked if Trump possessing the nuclear and military secret documents after leaving office was a national security risk, just 38% of likely Republican primary voters agreed, while 80% of the rest of the country thought so (including 91% of Democrats and 69% of independents).

An ABC News/Ipsos poll also found that while 61% of Americans think the federal indictment is serious, a mere 38% of Republicans do.

Views on Trump’s potential conviction were also highly partisan. If Trump is convicted, 80% of likely GOP primary voters believe Trump should still be able to serve as president, while 80% of Democrats and a 56% majority of independents say exactly the opposite: Trump shouldn’t be able to be president.

Whites with a degree and non-college whites part ways again, with 59% of college-educated whites saying Trump should not be able to serve, while a slim 51% majority of non-college whites say he should be able to.

Among likely Republican primary voters, Trump continues to dominate the GOP field. Asked who they would vote for today, Trump won 61%, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis won 23%, while Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, former Vice President Mike Pence, and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley all claimed under 5% (4%, 4%, and 3%, respectively).

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One interesting side note: Asked who GOP voters are considering, Trump and DeSantis remained first and second (at 75% and 51%), but Tim Scott, at 21%, outshone Pence (16%) and Haley (15%), despite both of them having higher name recognition.

Overall, none of this should be good news for Republicans who want to win back the White House in 2024. Once again, what Republican primary voters want and what the broader electorate will accept is miles apart: the vast majority of Democrats and independents say Trump keeping documents after leaving office represents a serious national security risk, while just 38% of GOP primary voters agreed; a solid majority of Democrats and independents say Trump should be barred from office if convicted, while a whopping 80% of GOP primary voters believe he should be allowed to serve.

Once more, the outlook over time is likely to worsen for Republicans. While their primary voters remain wed to Trump, a year of revelations about the federal indictment culminating in a trial likely sometime next summer will almost certainly further alienate Democrats, independents, swing voters, and even some reality-based Republicans. And that is before prosecutors in Georgia, New York, and elsewhere conclude their investigations.

While Hillary Clinton’s classified email case wasn’t anywhere near as egregious, and she never obstructed justice, the inquiry still chipped away at her support over time.  

Just two months before Election Day, in September 2016, a CNN/ORC poll found that 62% of voters overall said Clinton’s use of a private server was “an important indicator of her character and ability to serve as president.” That number rose steadily over time, after starting at 46% in March 2015, hitting 55% in October 2015, 58% in June 2016, and finally 62% shortly before the election.

And not only was Clinton never charged, her case never received the attention that a federal trial will certainly attract—not to mention multiple indictments in other cases.

If Republican primary voters remain dug in and beholden to Trump, the pro-democracy coalition of Democrats, Independents, and swing voters who defeated Trump in 2020 and then went on to defeat Trump’s election-denying endorsees in the 2022 midterm will likely only grow even stronger and broader in 2024.

This week on “The Downballot,” we’re joined by guest host Joe Sudbay and law professor Quinn Yeargain for a deep dive into major political developments in three states. First up is Arizona, where a key GOP retirement on the Board of Supervisors in jumbo Maricopa County gives Democrats an excellent chance to win their first majority since the 1960s. Then it’s on to Arkansas, where citizens are working to overturn a Republican bill that purports to ban “critical race theory” in public schools by qualifying a referendum for the ballot. Finally, we hit Michigan, where Democrats just advanced a measure to have the state add its Electoral College votes to a multistate compact that would elect the president by the national popular vote.

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