Trump's 4 indictments could spell trouble for his comeback bid, new polls find
Majorities of Americans believe Trump did something illegal and should not be able to run for president.
Four new polls published Wednesday and Thursday have found that majorities of Americans believe former President Donald Trump’s spate of indictments are serious and that he committed crimes, which could be problematic for him in his comeback bid.
Polls from ABC News, Fox News, Quinnipiac, and a Democratic pollster found varying levels of trouble for Trump, who is charged with felonies in four different states on counts ranging from improperly withholding classified documents to conspiracy to defraud the United States through efforts to stay in office after losing the 2020 election.
ABC News released a poll on Thursday that found 50% of Americans think Trump should suspend his campaign because of his criminal indictments.
A Fox News poll published Wednesday night found that 53% of registered voters believe Trump did something illegal in his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
The Fox News poll found that while Republican voters don’t believe Trump did anything wrong, a majority of independent voters — whose votes Trump needs to win a general election — think Trump did something illegal and the Department of Justice is not acting out of political motivation. Nearly two-thirds, or 62%, of independent voters believe Trump did something illegal.
Meanwhile, a Quinnipiac University poll published Wednesday found that 54% of Americans believe Trump should be prosecuted.
More concerning for Trump is that the Quinnipiac poll 68% of Americans believe that someone convicted of a felony should not be eligible to be president.
Trump is scheduled to go to trial in the classified documents case in Florida in May of next year. Special counsel Jack Smith wants a trial in January over Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. And Fulton County District Attorney Fani Williams wants the trial over Trump’s efforts to overturn the Georgia election to be scheduled for March.
Finally, Semafor reports that a poll from the Benenson Strategy Group, which acted as the pollster for the presidential campaigns of former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, found that both independent and Republican voters are less likely to vote for Trump because of the indictments.
That poll found 61% of independent voters are somewhat or much less likely to vote for Trump against President Joe Biden because of the indictments; while 24% of Republican voters say they are somewhat or much less likely to vote for Trump over Biden for the same reason. Semafor reported that, according to a Benenson Strategy Group memo accompanying the poll, that’s “more than enough to swing a close general election.” The poll also found Trump and Biden tied 46%-46% in the general election.
Trump, for his part, has said the indictments will help him in the 2024 election.
According to the Associated Press, Trump said at a campaign event in Alabama on Aug. 4, after he was arraigned in Washington, D.C., over efforts to overturn the 2020 elections: “Any time they file an indictment, we go way up in the polls. We need one more indictment to close out this election. One more indictment, and this election is closed out. Nobody has even a chance.”
Trump’s support in the primary has actually grown since his first indictment. The FiveThirtyEight average has Trump at 53.8%, with his next closest primary opponent, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, at just 15%.
But while the indictments may help him in a primary, Republican strategists are warning that’s not likely to be the case in a general election.
“Gonna be cool when the party’s nominee spends the summer in court and all of his donors’ money on legal expenses,” Republican strategist Rory Cooper tweeted after Judge Aileen Cannon of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida set the classified documents case for May 2024. “That formula wins every time.”
“If we make it about Donald Trump, it’s going to be a three-ring circus and we will lose,” former Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, a CNN commentator, said on the network after the Georgia indictment, shown in a video clip tweeted on Tuesday by journalist Aaron Rupar. “And the only place we’re going to be able to make our campaign speeches as Republicans are going to be on courthouse steps, because it looks like every Republican that hung out with Trump is going to get an indictment.”
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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