What the latest polling says about Trump’s classified documents indictment

The new federal charges against former President Donald Trump over his alleged misuse of classified documents put him – and his constituents – in an unprecedented situation as he urges the American people to send him back to the White House while he faces more criminal charges .

Trump’s previous indictment in New York for allegedly forging business documents has done little politically. In fact, it caused Republicans to rally around him.

The new federal charges are of a different, more serious nature, so it’s unclear how the public will take the allegations and the upcoming trial. But there are recent polls that explain what Americans think about the prospect of Trump being charged with crimes, including some specifically about charges related to his handling of classified documents. Here’s what the fall means for Trump and the 2024 election.

Majorities think crimes accused of Trump are ‘serious’

A poll conducted by Yahoo and YouGov in late May found that a majority of Americans believe the crimes accused in multiple indictments against Trump are “serious.”

Fifty-two percent called the charge at the heart of his Manhattan indictment, “falsifying business records to disguise hush money payments to a porn star,” a felony. (Democrats and Republicans were deeply divided over this, while 49% of independents said it was a felony and 37% said it wasn’t a felony.)

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63% of Americans now describe “taking top secret documents from the White House and obstructing efforts to recover them” as a felony.

A clear majority of Democrats (82%) and Independents (62%) and 66% of all registered voters agreed. But Republicans were split on this issue with 42% calling the crime serious and 35% not serious.

That’s a key difference since Trump is running in the Republican presidential primary.

Americans have been relatively divided on whether these two allegations changed their views of Trump. Only 13% said they felt more positive about Trump after hearing about these allegations, 34% said they felt more negative about him, and 43% said their opinion stayed the same.

Among Republicans, 43% said their opinion of Trump hadn’t changed, 22% said the allegations made them feel more negative about Trump, while 27% said it made them feel more positive about Trump had.

The majority of Americans don’t believe Trump should be in office if convicted

The same Yahoo YouGov poll found that 62% of Americans agreed Trump shouldn’t serve as president if convicted of a “grave crime.”

This includes 63% of Independents and 84% of Democrats, while Republicans were again divided: 39% agreed he should not be allowed to serve, while 43% said he should.

Ahead of Trump’s indictment in Manhattan, Quinnipiac University asked Americans whether they think criminal charges, rather than an indictment, should bar Trump from running. A majority of Americans, including a majority of Democrats and independents, agreed, but three-quarters of Republicans believed that impeachments alone should not disqualify Trump.

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Republicans have said they want the party to rally around him

The April NBC News poll found that 68% of Republican primary voters believe the investigation into Trump is political and aimed at watering down his presidential campaign, and that they want the party to rally around him. Another 26% said they wanted their party to nominate a candidate who is undistracted and can focus on beating President Joe Biden.

A slim majority of all voters, 52%, said Trump was treated like anyone else accused of the same crimes in his New York indictment and was not unfairly targeted.

However, this contrasts with a finding by Quinnipiac University in late March, when 62% of Americans said the Manhattan case was “primarily politically motivated,” while 32% said it was “primarily legally motivated.”

A number of other things have happened since the charges were dropped in New York, but Trump’s standing in the Republican presidential nomination race has improved since then. According to the FiveThirtyEight poll average, as of April 1, Trump averaged about 48% of the GOP vote share, versus DeSantis’ 28%.

On June 8, Trump was at 54%, DeSantis at 21%.

Americans may be more concerned about election-related allegations

Another poll by The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research in April found that Americans are more likely to believe Trump did “something illegal” in connection with his conduct surrounding the 2020 election.

More than half – 53% – said his “alleged interference with the 2020 Georgia ballot count” was illegal, 49% said the same about “his role in what happened on January 6, 2021, 47% said the “secret Documents found on him”. “House in Florida” represented something illegal, and 41% said the same about “accusations that he covered up hush payments.”


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