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About half approve of Trump's conviction in financial silence case

About half approve of Trump's conviction in financial silence case
About half approve of Trump's conviction in financial silence case


June 12, 2024

Donald Trump became the first former US president to be convicted of a crime when a New York jury found him guilty of falsifying business records in a case stemming from a hush money payment to a woman who claimed to have an affair with her.

About half the public approves of Trump's conviction on the criminal charges, while 3 in 10 disapprove. The public is sharply divided over whether his conviction by a Manhattan jury was politically motivated.

The public is more likely to say that Trump's conviction benefits President Biden's campaign rather than the Trump 2024 campaign. There is little consensus on whether a former president's first conviction is positive or negative, either for the country's democratic system or for the country as a whole.

Much of the country is paying attention to Trump's condemnation. Eighty percent of adults say they have read or heard at least something about felony convictions, including 43% who say they have read or heard a lot. Only 4% say they haven't paid attention to the news at all. Supporters of both sides are more likely to pay attention to this condemnation than independents.

Opinions on Trump's conviction are heavily influenced by partisanship. Most Republicans disapprove of his conviction and view it as politically motivated. Democrats tend to endorse this belief and dispute the existence of political motivations. About half of independents have no opinion and say they neither approve nor disapprove of the conviction.

The public is narrowly divided on whether Trump's conviction was politically motivated, with large differences related to party identification. Eighty-three percent of Republicans believe the conviction is politically motivated, while 77 percent of Democrats believe it is not.

A similar question asked in an April 2023 AP-NORC poll, shortly after Trump's indictment by a Manhattan grand jury, found that 57% of adults viewed his prosecution as politically motivated. Again, partisanship was closely tied to opinions regarding his indictment. As of April 2023, 86% of Republicans said the indictment was politically motivated and 66% of Democrats said it was not.

Four in 10 people think Trump's conviction is a good thing for Biden's presidential campaign, while 3 in 10 think it benefits Trump's 2024 campaign. Many believe this conviction is bad rather than good for the country as a whole, and people are divided over its impact on the American democratic system.

Democrats are more likely to view Trump's conviction as a positive for the American democratic system, for the country as a whole, and for Biden's campaign. More and more Republicans view this conviction as positive for the Trump campaign rather than negative.

Views of Trump remain stable compared to before the trial. Forty percent have a favorable opinion of the former president and 56% have a negative opinion. An AP-NORC poll carried out in February found practically the same results: 38% favorable and 58% unfavorable.

Opinions about Biden, Trump, Kamala Harris and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. are very partisan. In the latest poll, 7 in 10 Democrats have a favorable opinion of Biden and Harris. By comparison, 86% of Republicans have a negative view of Biden and 78% are unfavorable for Harris.

Three-quarters of Republicans say they have a positive opinion of Donald Trump, while 90% of Democrats have a negative opinion. Republicans are also more likely than Democrats to have a favorable opinion of Kennedy (46% versus 28%), but about a quarter say they don't know enough about the independent candidate to have an opinion.

The national poll was conducted June 7-10, 2024 using the AmeriSpeak Panel, the University of Chicago NORC's probability panel. Online and telephone interviews using landline and cell phones were conducted with 1,115 adults. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.0 percentage points.

Suggested citation: AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. (June 2024).




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