The Republican Primary is stalling.
The first GOP debate failed to show a path forward for any other candidate to overtake former President Donald Trump, who continues to dominate Republican polling.
While the former president continues to poll in the low 50%, none of his other rivals can beat 15% or higher. This notably includes Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who at the beginning of the race was polling near even with Trump at 40%, and is now polling at 14.2% as of September 15th on the polling aggregator 538.
Other candidates including former Biotech CEO Vivek Ramaswamy, Former Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley, and Former Vice President Mike Pence currently are polling less than 10% each.
While some predicted that the four criminal indictments against the former President would hurt his poll numbers, they appear to only have solidified him as the front runner. Since the beginning of the campaign, he has gained around 10% more support among Republicans, solidifying his lead against his rivals.
However, these indictments have impacted him outside of the race, with 51% of independent voters believing the Former President to be guilty in at least one of his indictments. This tied him with President Joe Biden- with only 40.9% of Americans having a favorable opinion of them.
While mounting legal woes and potentially frequent court appearances in the coming months and years are likely to hurt his chances in the general election, they have only helped the Former President in the primary.
Currently 77% of Republicans are concerned that the indictments are politically motivated, compared to 8% that believe he tried to overthrow the election according to a CBS News poll.
Meanwhile, Biden continues to lead his primary challenger by over 50% of the vote, likely setting up a rematch between the two for the presidency in 2024.