A Wall Street Journal poll published Saturday shows former U.S. President Donald Trump is cementing his lead in the Republican presidential race with support from nearly 60 percent of Republican voters.
According to the recent poll, an overwhelming majority of Republican voters think the four criminal charges against the former president are politically motivated, and about half say the prosecutions are boosting their support for Trump.
The media reported that with exactly 59% support, Trump has doubled his lead over Florida Governor Ron DeSantis compared to a similar study conducted in April.
"The new survey finds that what was once a two-man race for the nomination has collapsed into a lopsided contest in which Trump, for now, has no formidable challenger. The former president is the top choice of 59% of GOP primary voters, up 11 percentage points since April, when the Journal tested a slightly different field of potential and declared candidates," according to the WSJ.
According to the poll, DeSantis has barely been able to distance himself from the second group of candidates in the presidential race, reaching 13%.
The study also shows the numbers of the rest of the candidates. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has 8% support; businessman Vivek Ramaswamy has 5%; former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie 3%; former Vice President Mike Pence and South Carolina Republican Senator Tim Scott are at 2%.
Both Haley, Ramaswamy and Christie had a slight single-digit increase from April.
Criminal proceedings favor Trump electorally
One of the remarkable aspects of the WSJ study is that prosecutions against a candidate, which would once have meant the campaign was doomed, are clearly favoring Trump among Republican voters.
Respondents were particularly asked about the allegations against Trump, with more than 60 percent of Republican primary voters saying the multiple prosecutions are politically motivated and baseless.
Another 78% said Trump's actions after the 2020 election were intended to ensure a legitimate or accurate vote, and only 16% said Trump illegally tried to block Congress from certifying the election.
To the surprise of many, 48% of respondents said the allegations against Trump motivated them to be even more supportive of the former president, compared with 16% who said the prosecutions made them less likely to support him.
What happens in a Trump vs. Biden situation?
The WSJ poll also showed that a showdown between Trump and President Joe Biden would be genuinely even.
In a head-to-head without the other candidates, Trump and Biden were tied, with 46% each and 8% undecided.
In another context, with independent parties competing, the undecided increased to almost double.
"Trump had 40% support to 39% for Biden, with potential Green Party and Libertarian candidates drawing a combined 3%. A significant share—some 17%—were undecided," the study said.
The WSJ poll was conducted Aug. 24-30 and interviewed 1,500 registered voters and 600 primary voters via phone calls and Internet polling.