Poll Shows Trump Hush Money Verdict Unlikely to Change Voters’ Minds

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A new poll released Thursday brings positive news for former President Donald Trump’s reelection prospects as he awaits a verdict in his New York hush money trial.

The NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist national poll revealed that 67% of registered voters nationwide wouldn’t be influenced by a guilty verdict against Trump, while 15% said it would make them more inclined to vote for him. Meanwhile, 17% indicated a guilty verdict would make them less likely to support him.

Jurors are currently determining whether the former president is guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records related to hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election.

A verdict could arrive at any moment on Thursday, although the exact timing remains uncertain. The 12-member jury is on its second day of deliberations after closing arguments were delivered on Tuesday.

Among Republicans polled, 25% stated a guilty verdict would make them more likely to vote for Trump, while 10% said it would make them less likely. Only 7% of Democrats said a guilty verdict would make them more likely to vote for Trump, while 27% said it would make them less likely to support him.

Among independent voters, 15% reported that a guilty verdict would make them more likely to vote for Trump, while 11% said it would make them less likely.

Conversely, 76% of all voters said a not-guilty verdict wouldn’t affect their votes.

Former President Donald Trump gestures as he walks to the courtroom during his hush money trial at Manhattan Criminal Court, Wednesday, May 29, 2024, in New York. (Yuki Iwamura/Pool Photo via AP)

The best possible outcome for Trump is acquittal, which is seen as unlikely and would require all 12 jurors to agree on his innocence. The most practical aim for the defense is a hung jury, where at least one juror dissents.

Even if the jury returns a guilty verdict, the former president is expected to appeal. A conviction would not prevent him from running for a second term.

“Article 1 of the Constitution sets out three requirements to be president. You have to be 35 years old, a natural-born citizen, and 14 years a resident within the U.S.,” said Heritage Foundation legal scholar Hans von Spakovsky. “Being a convicted felon is not a bar to being president.”

Trump mentioned the NPR/Marist poll on Thursday morning before heading into the courtroom. He highlighted his lead of 54% to 42% against President Joe Biden among independent voters.

“Trump’s strongest lead among independent voters,” Trump boasted, before criticizing independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

“Jr. is way down — way, way down,” Trump said, according to a pool report of the trial. He also labeled Kennedy as “extremely liberal, by the way, extremely radical left. I think you know that, but he seems to be hurting Biden probably a little bit.”

This week, the Kennedy campaign lodged a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, alleging that CNN colluded with the Biden and Trump campaigns to exclude him from the network’s June 27 debate in Atlanta, Georgia.

In a matchup from the same poll including multiple candidates, Kennedy garnered 8%, while Trump secured 44%, Biden had 40%, Green Party candidate Jill Stein received 3%, and independent Cornel West obtained 2%. Additionally, 3% said they were undecided.

Kaelan Deese and Haisten Willis contributed to this story.

Mabinty Quarshie
Mabinty Quarshie
National politics correspondent. Previously, Mabinty was a national political reporter and assistant elections editor at USA Today. She holds a bachelor’s from George Mason University and a master’s in journalism from Georgetown University.

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