More than half of voters think Trump has committed crimes: Poll

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More than half of voters think former President Trump has committed crimes for which he should be convicted, according to a new Harvard CAPS-Harris poll shared with The Hill. 

Fifty-five percent of surveyed voters think Trump has committed crimes, a finding that comes as the first of four criminal indictments against the former president goes before a jury in New York. 

A 53-percent majority also said Trump’s legal cases make it “impossible” for him to be a viable candidate for the Oval Office, even as he campaigns for another four years. 

At the same time, 57 percent of respondents said they think the legal prosecutions against Trump constitute “lawfare,” or a way for Democrats to use the legal system to take out political opponents, while 43 percent said the prosecutions are fair and unpolitical.  

Just 49 percent of respondents said Trump has committed crimes for which he will — rather than should — be convicted, while 51 percent said he will not be convicted. 

Trump is on trial in Manhattan for falsifying business records in connection with a hush money payment made by his ex-fixer, Michael Cohen, to adult film star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election cycle. 

Fifty-one percent in the poll said the hush money case is happening “because he committed crimes deserving of these punishments” — while 49 percent said it’s happening because “officials are trying to force him out of the race for president.” 

Trump also faces charges related to his handling of classified materials and his actions surrounding the transfer of power after President Biden won the 2020 election. 

“Voters think that former President Trump may be guilty of crimes but that does not seem to be stopping them from supporting him. Even convictions only take the race to dead even,” said Mark Penn, the co-director of the Harvard CAPS-Harris poll.  

In the event that Trump is convicted of crimes related to his document handling or in his Georgia election interference case, the Biden-Trump rematch set for this fall would be roughly tied at 50 percent support each, according to the poll. 

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If Trump is convicted “for inciting the Capitol riots” of Jan. 6, 2021, Trump has a 4-point edge on Biden, with 52 percent support to 48 percent. 

The survey was conducted April 24-25 among 1,961 registered voters by the Harris Poll and Harris X. It is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and the Harris Poll. 

Results were weighted for age within gender, region, race/ethnicity, marital status, household size, income, employment, education, political party, and political ideology where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. The margin of error for the total sample is plus or minus 2 percentage points. 

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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