Poll Indicates Trump Verdict a Lose-Lose for Democrats


A new poll released Thursday undermines the Democrats’ strategy to imprison their main political rival, indicating that this tactic is failing to sway the majority of American voters, who view these trials as partisan rather than legitimate.

According to the May survey conducted by Marist National Poll in conjunction with NPR and PBS, 67 percent of registered voters stated that a guilty verdict in the New York “hush money trial” would “make no difference” in their voting decision this November. Only 17 percent said a guilty verdict would make them less likely to vote for the former president, whereas 15 percent responded that such a verdict would make them more likely to support Trump.

Conversely, if the Manhattan jury finds the Republican presidential candidate not guilty, the results could be detrimental for Democrats. Fourteen percent of voters said exoneration would make them more inclined to vote for Trump. Nine percent indicated a not guilty verdict would make them less likely to support the Republican, and 76 percent stated Trump’s proven innocence by a jury would not influence their vote this fall.

The Marist survey sampled 1,261 adults, conducted via phone and internet from May 21 to May 23 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.7 percent. Pollsters interviewed 1,122 registered voters.

The results were released on the second day of jury deliberations in the former president’s Manhattan trial, where Trump faced 34 felony charges related to alleged bookkeeping crimes that prosecutors previously chose not to pursue. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg swiftly unveiled the indictment last year, marking the first criminal charges against a former president. Trump is accused of improperly filing an NDA payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

New York Judge Juan Merchan has repeatedly restricted Trump’s ability to speak about the case, and Trump now faces up to four years in prison for each of the 34 charges, totaling a potential 136 years behind bars.

Republicans on Capitol Hill condemned Judge Merchan this week, accusing him of being a biased official improperly chosen to handle this politically charged trial. On Tuesday, Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., who chairs the House Republican Conference, lodged a complaint with the New York State Unified Court System claiming that Judge Merchan was secretly selected, contradicting the legal requirement for random judge assignments. Stefanik noted that Judge Merchan was somehow randomly selected to oversee a previous trial against the Trump Organization, an upcoming trial against former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, and Bragg’s criminal case against Trump.

“If justices were indeed being randomly assigned in the Criminal Term, the probability of two specific criminal cases being assigned to the same justice is quite low, and the probability of three specific criminal cases being assigned to the same justice is infinitesimally small,” Stefanik wrote to state officials. “And yet, we see Acting Justice Merchan on all three cases.”

Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday, demanding a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into Merchan’s trial conduct, particularly focusing on gag orders imposed on Trump and the judge’s personal conflicts of interest.

“On Merchan’s orders, a Republican presidential candidate has been made powerless to question the credibility of the witnesses testifying against him, the motivations of the prosecutors pursuing him, or the impartiality of the apparently conflicted judge fining him,” Vance wrote. He added that Merchan’s daughter “seems to be an obvious beneficiary of Merchan’s biased rulings” and noted her work as a fundraiser for Democratic officials and organizations, wherein she raised $93 million from donors during Trump’s New York trial, partly by utilizing the case and maligning the defendant in solicitation emails.

The New York City bookkeeping trial may be the only case resolved before the November election, as Trump’s three other criminal cases are encountering courtroom delays. In Florida, the federal judge overseeing the classified documents case recently paused the litigation indefinitely after prosecutors admitted to evidence tampering. In Georgia, Fulton County Prosecutor Fani Willis faces an appeal to remove her from the case due to corruption allegations. In Washington, D.C., the judge in Trump’s Jan. 6 case awaits a Supreme Court decision on the DOJ’s authority to bring certain charges.

Tristan Justice
Tristan Justice
Tristan Justice is our western correspondent and the author of Social Justice Redux, a conservative newsletter on culture, health, and wellness. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and The Daily Signal. His work has also been featured in Real Clear Politics and Fox News. Tristan graduated from George Washington University where he majored in political science and minored in journalism.

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