Home U.S. News Majority of Americans Say Trump Charges Have Merit, but His G.O.P. Grip Grows

Majority of Americans Say Trump Charges Have Merit, but His G.O.P. Grip Grows

Majority of Americans Say Trump Charges Have Merit, but His G.O.P. Grip Grows

Former President Donald J. Trump’s blistering attacks on prosecutors and the federal government over the cascade of indictments he faces do not appear to be resonating much with voters in the latest polls, yet his grip on Republicans is further tightening.

A majority of Americans, in four recent polls, said Mr. Trump’s criminal cases were warranted. Most were surveyed before a grand jury in Georgia indicted him over his attempts to subvert the 2020 election, but after the federal indictment related to Jan. 6.

At the same time, Mr. Trump still holds a dominant lead over the crowded field of Republicans who are challenging him for the party’s 2024 presidential nomination, including Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, who continues to slide.

The polls — conducted by Quinnipiac University, The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, ABC News/Ipsos and Fox News — showed that Americans remain divided along party lines over the dozens of criminal charges facing Mr. Trump.

The takeaways aligned with the findings of a New York Times/Siena College poll last month, in which 22 percent of voters who believed that Mr. Trump had committed serious federal crimes said they still planned to support him in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup with Mr. DeSantis.

Here are key findings from the recent polling:

In the Quinnipiac poll, 54 percent of registered voters said Mr. Trump should be prosecuted for trying to overturn the 2020 election. And seven out of 10 voters said that anyone convicted of a felony should no longer be eligible to be president.

Half of Americans, but only 20 percent of Republicans, said that Mr. Trump should suspend his presidential campaign, according to the ABC News/Ipsos poll. This poll, which surveyed American adults, was the only one of the four surveys conducted entirely after Mr. Trump’s indictment in Georgia.

When specifically asked by ABC about the Georgia case, 63 percent said the latest criminal charges against Mr. Trump were “serious.”

The trends were mixed for Mr. Trump, who is a voracious consumer of polls and often mentions them on social media and during campaign speeches. He has continually argued that the indictments were politically motivated and intended to short-circuit his candidacy.

In a hypothetical rematch of the 2020 election, Mr. Trump trailed President Biden by a single percentage point in the latest Quinnipiac poll, 47 to 46 percent. Mr. Biden’s advantage was 5 percentage points in July.

At his campaign rallies, Mr. Trump has frequently boasted how the indictments have been a boon for his polling numbers — and that rang true when Republicans were surveyed about the primary race.

In those polls that tracked the G.O.P. nominating contest, Mr. Trump widened his lead over his challengers, beating them by nearly 40 points. His nearest competitor, Mr. DeSantis, had fallen below 20 percent in both the Fox and Quinnipiac polls.

Mr. DeSantis, who earlier this month replaced his campaign manager as he shifts his strategy, dropped by 6 to 7 percentage points in recent months in both polls.

About half of Americans said that Mr. Trump’s interference in the election in Georgia was illegal, according to the AP/NORC poll.

A similar share of Americans felt the same way after Mr. Trump’s indictments in the classified documents and the Jan. 6 cases, but the percentage was much lower when he was charged in New York in a case related to a hush-money payment to a porn star.

Fewer than one in five Republicans said that Mr. Trump had committed a crime in Georgia or that he broke any laws in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

When asked by Fox News whether Mr. Trump had engaged in illegal activity to overturn the 2020 election, 53 percent of registered voters said yes.

But just 13 percent of Republicans shared that view.

A plurality of those surveyed by ABC (49 percent) believed that Mr. Trump should be charged with a crime in Georgia.

Fifty-three percent of U.S. adults said that they approved of the Justice Department’s decision to bring charges against Mr. Trump for his attempts to reverse his electoral defeat in 2020, The A.P. found.

At the same time, the public’s confidence in the Justice Department registered at 17 percent in the same poll.

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