The election, polarization, and the Trump verdict: the June 2 – 4, 2024 Economist/YouGov Poll

This week’s Economist/YouGov poll covers the 2024 presidential election, polarization in the electorate, the verdict in Donald Trump’s hush-money trial, and D-Day’s 80th anniversary.

The 2024 presidential election

  • Even after the guilty verdict against former President Donald Trump on 34 charges in his hush-money trial, he remains in a tight contest with President Joe Biden. Among registered voters, 42% say they plan to vote for Biden, and 42% for Trump.

  • 8% of registered voters remain undecided, including 5% of Democrats, 5% of Republicans, and 16% of Independents
  • Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. receives the support of 3%, including 7% of Independents
  • Trump leads among Independents by 39% to 29%; last week’s poll showed him leading by 37% to 24%
  • Biden voters and Trump voters are similar when it comes to attentiveness to the campaign and their self-reported likelihood of voting
  • Biden voters have consistently expressed less enthusiasm for voting than Trump voters: 53% of Biden supporters say they are very or extremely enthusiastic about voting for president this year, compared to 66% of Trump supporters

  • Supporters of both Biden and Trump hold extraordinarily negative views of the opposing candidate
  • 96% of Biden supporters have a very (93%) or somewhat (3%) unfavorable opinion of Trump
  • 97% of Trump supporters have a very (93%) or somewhat (4%) unfavorable opinion of Biden
  • Among the 15% of registered voters have very or somewhat unfavorable views of both Trump and Biden, 29% support Biden, 18% support Trump, and 29% support another candidate such as Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Jill Stein, or Cornel West
  • Biden has held modest leads with this group for several months; Trump has led among them at other times earlier in the campaign

Donald Trump’s hush-money verdict

  • More Americans strongly or somewhat approve (50%) than disapprove (38%) of the jury’s decision to convict Trump
  • 90% of Democrats, 46% of Independents, and only 10% of Republicans approve of the verdict
  • Only 8% of registered voters say Trump’s conviction in his hush-money trial makes them reconsider their vote; among the people reconsidering, twice as many say the verdict made them less likely to support Trump than the share who say it made them more likely to support him
  • Voters are closely divided when it comes to the political impact of the verdict: About the same share say it will have a positive impact on Trump’s chances in the election as a negative impact
  • Last week’s poll, conducted prior to the verdict, found that more thought a conviction would be bad for Trump’s campaign than good
  • Biden supporters are more likely to think the verdict will hurt Trump; a majority of Trump supporters say it will help him

  • Opinion about Trump’s hush-money trial is highly partisan
  • Republicans are rallying around Trump after his conviction: By 81% to 10%, Republicans say the Republican Party should continue to support Trump
  • 88% of registered voters who consider themselves Republicans say they will vote for Trump; 3% say Biden, 3% say Kennedy, and 5% are unsure
  • By 82% to 9%, Democrats say a convicted felon should not be allowed to serve as president; the comparable figures among Republicans are 14% and 59%
  • In an April survey with slightly different wording, 58% of Republicans opposed allowing felons to be president — 44 points higher than the share who now oppose this
  • Majorities of Democrats and Republicans — and 75% of Americans overall — think the criminal justice system should treat Trump the same as it would treat a normal citizen
  • However, Democrats and Republicans differ on how Trump is treated by the criminal justice system: 63% of Democrats believe he was treated more leniently than others would be and 5% say more harshly, while 5% of Republicans say Trump was treated more leniently and 80% more harshly

  • On other trial questions — including whether the trial was conducted fairly, whether Trump could get a fair trial in New York, and approval of the guilty verdict — vast majorities of Democrats and Republicans take opposing views
  • Democrats and Republicans are more likely to say that Trump had somewhat or very good legal representation than to say it was bad
  • Republicans’ views on this have shifted from before the trial: 42% now say he received good counsel compared to 59% who said so two weeks before the verdict
  • Democrats and Republicans are more likely to say Trump’s decision not to testify likely had no effect on the outcome of the trial than to say it either helped or hurt him

—Taylor Orth and Carl Bialik contributed to this article

See the toplines and crosstabs for the June 2 – 4, 2024 Economist/YouGov Poll

Methodology: The poll was conducted among 1,766 U.S. adult citizens from June 2 – 4, 2024. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel using sample matching. A random sample (stratified by gender, age, race, education, geographic region, and voter registration) was selected from the 2019 American Community Survey. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, education, 2020 election turnout and presidential vote, baseline party identification, and current voter registration status. Demographic weighting targets come from the 2019 American Community Survey. Baseline party identification is the respondent’s most recent answer given prior to November 1, 2022, and is weighted to the estimated distribution at that time (33% Democratic, 31% Republican). The margin of error for the overall sample is approximately 3%.

Image: Getty


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