Former President Donald Trump at a campaign rally on March 25 at Waco Regional Airport in Waco, Texas C-SPAN

 A majority of Americans say that former President Donald Trump should be prosecuted on federal criminal charges for his attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, while two thirds of Americans believe that the charges are either “very” or “somewhat serious,” according to the latest Quinnipiac University poll.  

Trump is facing four criminal trials. On Aug. 14, the state of Georgia indicted him and others for allegedly conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the state.

About 54% think Trump should be prosecuted on criminal charges, according to the poll. But the split is highly partisan: Among Democrats, 95% support prosecution; among independents, 57%; and among Republicans, 12%

The poll was released Aug. 16.

Trump still enjoys a strong lead in the Republican primary field for the 2024 presidential nomination, according to the poll, which shows the former president with 57% support among the Republican and Republican-leaning electorate. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is in second place with 18% support (his lowest in the Quinnipiac 2024 Republican primary poll). Trump’s most vocal critic in the Republican primary, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, sits at 3% support, according to the poll.  

The poll also showed high levels of anxiety among the American public about the state of our democratic system. An overwhelming 83% of respondents say that they are “very worried” or “somewhat worried” about the state of our democracy.

“If democracy is the complex engine that guides the country’s future, it’s clear a vast majority of Americans now fear a catastrophic breakdown is possible,” said Quinnipiac Polling Analyst Tim Malloy. 

In a hypothetical race between Trump and President Joe Biden, Biden would receive 47% support and Trump 46% support among all registered voters, according to the poll.

1,818 U.S. adults were surveyed for the poll that was conducted between Aug. 10 through Aug. 14. 

Donato Davis is CT Mirror's 2023 Emma Bowen Summer Intern. He is a rising junior at the University of Connecticut. Before coming to CT Mirror he participated in a summer sports writing internship with BVM Sports, an online sports magazine based in Wisconsin where he interviewed and wrote articles about local athletes, teams, and coaches within Connecticut. He is also a news reporter at UCTV, UCONN's television news broadcast station.