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Opinions About Trump’s Hush Money Trial Are Sharply Divided

By Adeline Von Drehle
Published On: Last updated 05/09/2024, 04:59 PM EDT

Former President Donald Trump has 46.1% of the American public’s support just six months from the 2024 presidential election, according to the RCP Average. He leads President Joe Biden by 1.2 points even as Trump faces increased scrutiny amidst his New York hush money trial.

Trump maintains his edge on Biden even as nearly two-thirds of voters (65%) believe the former president will be found guilty on some of the charges in his criminal case, according to a recent Suffolk University/USA Today poll. 

Exactly half of voters expected Trump would be found guilty on at least some counts, while just 15% said they believed he would be found guilty on all counts. Another 23% said he would likely be found not guilty on any counts, and 10% were undecided.

Importantly, for as many people that believe Trump will be found guilty, nearly as many believe Trump will not receive a fair trial in the state of New York. Just 44% of voters were confident that the selected jurors would “be able to reach a fair outcome” while the other 56% of respondents were skeptical that a “fair outcome is in the cards,” according to a recent SSRS poll.

There was much discussion over jury selection for the trial, and over 100 possible jurors were dismissed over an inability to rule in a “fair and impartial” way. Biden won Manhattan – where the trial is being held – with a whopping 86% of the vote in 2020. This has led many Trump supporters to believe that the trial is unfair since it is being held in a blue stronghold.

In fact, the USA Today poll breaks down opinions on the trial along party lines: 85% of likely-Trump voters believe the trial has been unfair, while just 11% of likely-Biden supporters feel the same.

Like much else in America, then, opinions about Trump’s hush money trial seem to be sharply divided depending on ideological tilt. This is good for Trump, so long as it allows him to hold on to his base.

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