Poll shows Trump supporters plan to back him even if convicted

(The Center Square) – Former President Donald Trump’s supporters plan to back him even if he’s convicted of a felony before the November election.

The Center Square Voters’ Voice Poll, conducted in conjunction with Noble Predictive Insights, found that 84% of Trump voters would vote for him in November even if he was convicted of a felony before the election.

David Byler of Noble Predictive Insights told The Center Square that might be an undercount.

“This number might seem shockingly high – eight in ten Trump voters are sure they’d support him, even if he’s convicted of a felony,” Byler said. “But I’d argue that this is an underestimate of how loyal Trump voters are. Over and over again, we’ve seen Trump temporarily lose voters during a scandal. But when Trump and his allies start pushing their own messaging and voters consider the alternative, his wayward supporters tend to come back.”

Another 9% of Trump backers said they were unsure of how they’d vote if Trump was convicted. Some 5% said they’d vote for a third-party candidate if Trump was convicted. Two percent of Trump backers said they’d support Biden if Trump were convicted.

“Trump may not retain 100% of his voters if convicted – but the final number may be even higher than the roughly eight in ten we see here,” Byler said.

More likely voters than not think Trump will not be convicted of any of the charges he faces in four separate indictments. Some 35% of likely voters think that Trump will be convicted of a felony. Another 45% said they think he won’t be convicted. And 20% said they were unsure.

The breakdown of those figures shows that party affiliation is a significant factor. Among Democrats, 57% expect a felony conviction, while 23% don’t think so and 19% are unsure. Among likely Republican voters, 14% expect Trump will be convicted, while 66% said no conviction and 20% were unsure.

Trump is the first former president to be indicted. As he prepares to campaign against President Joe Biden, Trump faces 88 felony charges spread across four cases in Florida, Georgia, New York and Washington. Federal prosecutors brought two of those cases. Trump faces state charges in New York and Georgia.

“The big concern for Trump isn’t the verdict itself. The issue is his character,” Byler told The Center Square. “Biden tends to beat Trump on questions of character – around honesty, trustworthy and other personal virtues.”

Most early general election polling has shown Trump with a slight edge over Biden. The Center Square’s Voters’ Voice Poll shows Trump beating Biden 46%-45% with likely voters, within the poll’s +-2% marging of error. The rest are unsure. Trump’s margin improves when considering third-party candidates who could siphon more votes from Biden.

“Trump is ahead in this election in part because it’s being fought on issues where he beats Biden – like the border,” Byler said. “But if voters are hearing about a felony conviction every day and start thinking about Trump’s personal character, key swing voters could move towards Biden.”

A court case won’t win the election for either side, Byler said.

“Many Americans can’t stop rooting for their own side – even when they’re thinking about the judiciary,” he said. “If a verdict comes down against Trump, Republicans will line up behind him. The same is true of Biden – if he were to face serious legal trouble, his core voters would back him up. That’s why it’s so hard for courts to move public opinion – in political cases, many people trust their political leaders more than judges and juries.”

The first of Trump’s criminal trials is set to start with jury selection on April 15. In that hush money case, Trump pleaded not guilty in April 2023 to 34 felony counts related to charges he paid off Stormy Daniels through a lawyer before the 2016 presidential election and covered it up as a legal expense.

 

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