Former President Donald Trump has made a resurgence in the quest for the Republican presidential nomination, according to The Wall Street Journal poll released Saturday.
The survey underscores a notable transformation in the sentiments of GOP primary voters, as Trump’s substantial lead over his nearest contender, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, has grown substantially since April, now towering at an imposing 46-percentage-point advantage.
“DeSantis collapsed,” Democrat pollster Michael Bocian said. “The one candidate who back in April really seemed to be a potential contender, seemed to have a narrative to tell, has totally collapsed, and those votes went to Trump.”
DeSantis, at 13% support, barely maintains a lead over the remaining field of candidates, all of whom have yet to manage to break out of single-digit support. As the primary season unfolds, Trump’s dominance remains unchallenged.
The full GOP presidential primary poll results:
- Trump 59%
- DeSantis 13%
- Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy 5%
- Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley 8%
- Former Vice President Mike Pence 2%
- Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie 3%
- Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., 2%
- Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson 1%
- Noth Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum 1%
- Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, 0%.
Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio, working with Bocian on the poll, expressed astonishment at the close polling numbers in a potential general election rematch between the former president and the incumbent, despite the legal challenges faced by Trump, as reported by the WSJ.
“When we talk about how twisted and bent reality has become, that’s a really good example of it because if, in fact, this were any other time and place, this race would not be happening this way,” said Fabrizio, who is also employed by a super PAC that backs Trump’s campaign.
Rick Sarver, a 65-year-old former electronic technician residing in Spring, Texas, represents a prevailing sentiment among GOP primary voters.
Sarver, a participant in the recent poll, said he perceives no compelling rationale to explore other Republican candidates beyond Trump.
“They don’t know how to run the country like Trump knows how to run the country,” he said. “The country was a whole lot better under Donald Trump.”
This sentiment underscores the former president’s commanding position within the party as he continues to commandeer the spotlight in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
Alternative perspectives were held by other participants in the poll.
Jerry Helmberger, a 69-year-old retired bed-and-breakfast operator and lifelong Republican from Houlton, Wisconsin, shared his inclination to support DeSantis in the primary election. Helmberger stated that he believes a change from Trump’s leadership is imperative for the nation.
“I’m afraid that he might be a little bit too divisive, and we have to get some peace in our country,” Helmberger said, adding that he thinks DeSantis has been an effective, conservative governor.
Trump commands a substantial 59% majority of GOP primary voters’ preferences, showcasing an 11 percentage point surge since the WSJ’s assessment in April.
The survey revealed a remarkable parity between Trump and President Joe Biden when considering voters overall in a hypothetical rematch of the 2020 election. In this scenario, Trump secured 40% support while Biden garnered 39%, with potential Green Party and Libertarian candidates collectively amassing 3%. A significant 17% of voters polled remained undecided.
In an exclusive one-on-one matchup, excluding other contenders, Trump and Biden were deadlocked, each garnering 46% of support, leaving 8% of voters undecided.
The WSJ survey, conducted between Aug. 24 and Aug. 30, encompassed 600 GOP voters intending to participate in a presidential primary or caucus. The margin of error was plus or minus four percentage points.