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Poll shows Americans receptive to legal action against Trump

Top Republicans are showing up at Donald Trump’s criminal trial in Manhattan not only to help him circumvent his gag order, but also with a message: Not only is it a sham, but it’s a sham that everyone world can see.

“Conviction or acquittal — either way, the American people consider it a sham, and rightly so,” one of those Republicans, Sen. J.D. Vance (Ohio), said Tuesday on Fox News .

“I think everyone in the country can see this (sham) for what it is,” said another House Speaker, Mike Johnson (La.).

A third, Vivek Ramaswamy, added Tuesday evening: “I think many Democrats and many independents across this country understand from watching this trial that this is a political sham. »

This actually does not seem to be the case. Polls have consistently shown that Americans, while somewhat skeptical of the proceedings, do not embrace Trump’s claims of persecution.

And in fact, there is now evidence that they could use in favor of prosecution.

We unfortunately don’t have a ton of recent polling as Trump’s trial has kicked off in the last two weeks. But what we do have is a new Yahoo News/YouGov survey released Tuesday that shows new highs in the percentages of Americans who think:

  • Trump falsified business records to conceal a hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels (52%).
  • In doing so, he committed a crime (47%).
  • This crime warrants indictment and trial (40 percent).
  • The trial deserves their approval (49 percent).

Here’s how those numbers have changed since Trump’s indictment in March 2023. Note the increases since last month’s poll, which was conducted primarily before the trial began with jury selection:

Most of these figures are around 50 percent, suggesting that the verdict remains largely in the court of public opinion. But what’s also remarkable here is how few Americans take opposing views.

For example, only 22 percent say Trump doesn’t falsify business records. So, while in March 2023 Americans said with a margin of 19 points that Trump had falsified the records, they now say so with a margin of 30 points.

The fact that Americans say by a 30-point margin that Trump did what he is accused of would, at the very least, seem to undermine the idea that this is all a baseless exercise.

Additionally, only 24% say Trump did not falsify the records. Or that he did it but it is not a crime. The margin by which Americans believe Trump committed a crime has increased from nine points in March 2023 to 23 points today.

And only 37 percent disapprove of the trial. This has been more or less constant over the past 14 months, but approval has been increasing. So, contrary to Vance and Johnson’s assertions, Americans now approve of the indictment and trial by double digits.

Perhaps the most striking new figure concerns the silence imposed by Trump and the threat of prison he faces.

Although these Republicans have sought to emphasize the idea that Trump’s free speech is under attack – including saying precisely the things that got him in trouble – this view does not appear to have taken off significantly.

In fact, a YouGov poll conducted last week for The Economist showed that 51% of Americans to 34% believed that prison would be an appropriate punishment if Trump continued to violate his gag order.

Going to prison for violating his order of silence is supposed to be an uncrossable line for his prosecution — and the apparent impetus for Trump’s allies arriving en masse at his trial. But the data we have suggests that Americans would support such a drastic measure, by a double-digit margin.

These are just a few polls from the same pollster. And it’s worth waiting for more, conducted after the recording of testimony from Daniels and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.

It should also be recognized that many Americans still have concerns about the fairness of the trial. A New York Times poll released Monday showed voters in six key states said between 49 and 45 percent that they did not think Trump would be able to get a fair trial. A USA Today/Suffolk University poll last week showed Americans 44-39 did not think the trial had been fair at this point.

But these and other polls suggest that some of this concern comes from the left, which worries that Trump is getting special treatment and/or shirking responsibility once again. So not everyone is worried about Trump being sidelined. And even if it were, it’s not the majority opinion.

This suggests that the story told by these Trump surrogates outside the courthouse has not caught on. Americans may not be big fans of these lawsuits, but they apparently see the merit in them.

Which might explain why surrogates are suddenly so eager to come forward and deliver that message — and even say the kinds of things the judge warned could taint the proceedings.


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