New Poll Shows Trump Conviction Not a Major Factor for Majority of Voters

By Adeline Von Drehle
Published On: Last updated 06/10/2024, 04:57 PM EDT

A recent CBS News / YouGov poll shows Joe Biden and Donald Trump neck-and-neck among voters nationwide and in key battleground states less than two weeks after Trump was convicted on 34 counts of falsification of business records, and less than five months before the presidential election.

The poll showed 49% of American voters are likely to support Biden in November, and 50% will likely vote for Trump. These numbers mirror the RCP Average, which shows Trump leading Biden by 0.8 points. When respondents living in seven battleground states – Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – were asked whom they plan to vote for in November, 50% answered Biden and 49% answered Trump.

Despite continuing to trail in the horse-race polls, these numbers actually represent good news for Biden, who was trailing Trump in six out of seven battleground states in May. Now he is gaining ground in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

The poll showed that when third-party candidates are included, Wisconsin voters are more likely to vote for Biden (38%) than Trump (31%). Under the same circumstances in Michigan, 41% of voters said they would vote for Biden and 39% said they would vote for Trump. In Pennsylvania, Biden would also take the edge: 41% of voters say they would support the president, while 39% of voters say they would be more likely to support his predecessor.

Biden won these three states by slim margins in the 2020 presidential election, taking all three from Trump after he won them in 2016. In 2020, Biden won Michigan by 2.8 points, Pennsylvania by 1.2 points, and Wisconsin by less than 1 point.

The poll was conducted June 5-7, just one week after Trump’s conviction. The majority of voters (55%) say that the conviction is not a major factor in their vote. Another 28% of voters say that the guilty verdict will be a major factor in their vote, and 17% say that it is a minor factor. 

When voters were asked what issue was most important in deciding their vote, a relatively few number of respondents (28%) said the conviction was a major factor. When asked about other issues, 81% of voters said the economy was a major factor, 75% said inflation, 74% said the state of democracy, 62% said crime, 56% said the U.S.-Mexico border, and 52% said gun policy. Trump is polling better than Biden on all these issues except gun policy.

It would seem that the Democrats’ most tangible asset, as it was in 2020, is the simple fact that Biden is not Trump. When likely Biden supporters were asked what their main reason for supporting Biden was, 54% said they planned on voting for Biden to oppose Trump. About one-quarter (27%) said it was because they like Biden, and 19% said it was because Biden is the likely Democratic nominee.

It would seem the only favor Trump’s conviction did for Biden, then, is to reinvigorate latent Trump-haters to mobilize for Biden. This is the exact group he is depending on for reelection.

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