A new poll from The Wall Street Journal reveals that Donald Trump’s lead has surged in the Republican presidential nomination race, with 59 percent of GOP primary voters choosing him as their top choice. This is an 11 percent increase from April, and Trump’s lead over his closest rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, has nearly doubled to 46 percentage points.
The poll also found that Trump’s four criminal prosecutions seem to have strengthened his position among Republican voters. More than 60 percent of respondents believe the indictments are politically motivated and lack merit, while 78 percent view Trump’s post-2020 election actions as legitimate efforts to ensure an accurate vote. Almost half (48 percent) say the indictments make them more likely to vote for Trump in 2024.
In a hypothetical rematch of the 2020 election, Trump and current President Biden are almost tied, with Trump garnering 40 percent support to Biden’s 39 percent. When other candidates are excluded, both Trump and Biden tie at 46 percent, with 8 percent of voters undecided.
Despite his earlier popularity, DeSantis’ support has fallen from 24 percent in April to just 13 percent. Other potential candidates like businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and former Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina haven’t garnered significant support, despite positive impressions during the televised Aug. 23 GOP debate.
Meanwhile, candidates who’ve criticized Trump, such as former Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, have received minimal support.
The poll also revealed a tarnished image for former Vice President Mike Pence among primary voters. His favorability rating dropped from 54 percent in April to 30 percent now, with 63 percent having an unfavorable view. Pence was chosen by only 2 percent of voters for the potential party nomination.
The poll, conducted from August 24 to 30, involved a telephone and text-to-web survey of 600 Republican primary voters, with a margin of error of +/-4 percentage points.