Former U.S. President Donald Trump’s influence within the Republican Party seems to be on an upward trajectory, even as he faces legal headwinds.
What Happened: Recent data indicates that the embattled politician’s legal battles could be amplifying his appeal among GOP constituents. According to a poll conducted by The Wall Street Journal, Trump has emerged as the first choice for nearly 6 in 10 GOP primary voters, reflecting an 11% growth since April.
“The uptick has placed a significant distance between him and his closest competitor, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who garnered a mere 13% of support,” said the Wall Street Journal. The gap between the two has grown considerably in recent months, as highlighted by the outlet.
What’s intriguing is that Trump’s legal challenges, which would have typically hampered a political campaign, seem to be propelling his candidacy.
A significant portion of GOP primary voters have perceived these legal actions as politically driven, with a vast majority endorsing Trump’s unsettling behavior following the 2020 elections.
According to the poll, over 60% of Republican primary voters saw the Trump indictments as politically motivated and baseless. Meanwhile, 78% believed Trump’s actions in response to the 2020 election were legitimate, while 16% thought he had illegally obstructed Congress.
About 48% said the indictments made them more likely to support Trump in 2024, while 16% said it made them less likely to do so.
In a speculative face-off against current President Joe Biden in the upcoming 2024 election, Trump appears to hold his ground, with both contenders neck-and-neck in terms of support. “This parity, especially in light of Trump’s legal entanglements, has raised eyebrows in political circles,” said the Wall Street Journal.
While DeSantis’ standing has waned since April, other candidates, such as businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and former Governor Nikki Haley of South Carolina, have made an impression on voters but haven’t garnered substantial backing.
Produced in association with Benzinga
Edited by Priscilla Jepchumba and Newsdesk Manager