Stop us if you’ve heard this before: On Tuesday, former President Donald Trump was convicted for the third time, Federal prosecutors have charged him with four counts of conspiracy and obstruction in connection with his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

every time we’ve done itThe the first question on everyone’s lips Always, “How will this affect Trump’s chances in the 2024 presidential election?” It may seem silly to keep asking; After all his legal troubles, he is still the frontrunner for the GOP nomination and is competitive with President Biden. Preliminary General-Election Survey, But it’s also an oversimplification to say that in his past convictions that had no effect on his campaignAnd there are signs that Americans view Trump’s role in trying to overturn the 2020 election as a particularly serious crime.

First, let’s take a closer look at voters’ reactions to Trump’s first two impeachments. his first indictmentIndictment on March 30 in New York for falsifying business records to pay an adult entertainment actress with whom he allegedly had an affair apparently did him no harm politically. According to voting average of five thirty eight In Trump’s favorability ratings, his net favorable rating remained stable before and after the impeachment. If anything, the impeachment may have helped him consolidate support in the Republican primary. on 29 March he was an average of 45 percent in national elections, By April 13, it was up to 54 per cent.

But his second indictment ran away, When it was reported after June 8 federal prosecutors were indicting him Due to the keeping of classified documents and hindering efforts to get them back, his average support in the GOP primary dropped slightly. And his average net favorable rating declined by a few percentage points.

Although we cannot prove that all these changes took place Because In the indictments, the difference in response suggests at least that Americans are distinguishing between Trump’s Various Legal Troubles, And other polling supports it. according to a YouGov/Yahoo News Poll From July 13-17, 50 percent of registered voters considered falsifying business records to conceal secret money payments to a porn star a felony. But 64 percent of registered voters consider taking highly classified documents from the White House and obstructing efforts to retrieve them a serious crime. Similarly, a June 22-26 Voting The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that only 35 percent of American adults thought Trump had done something illegal when it comes to the hush money payments. But 53 percent thought he had done something illegal in relation to classified documents found at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

By that logic, this third indictment may be even more damaging to Trump than the one involving the classified documents. According to the same YouGov/Yahoo News poll, 69 percent of registered voters considered attempting to obstruct the certification of a presidential election a serious crime, and 71 percent said the same about a conspiracy to overturn the results of a presidential election.

Americans take very seriously the federal charges of January 6…

Share of registered voters who believed each allegation was a serious crime, according to the July 13-17 poll

Blame % who think it is a serious crime
Conspiracy to overturn the results of the presidential election 71%
attempt to obstruct the certification of the presidential election 69
taking classified documents and obstructing recovery efforts 64
falsifying business records to conceal secret money payments 50

Source: YouGov/Yahoo News

AP-NORC also suggests that Americans will take this indictment more seriously than the first one, but perhaps not as seriously as the second one. In his poll, 45 percent of adults thought Trump did something illegal in relation to what happened at the Capitol on January 6th.

…but the January 6 affair may not be Trump’s greatest weakness

According to the June 22-26 poll, the share of American adults who believed that Donald Trump had done something illegal with respect to each case

Case % who think Trump acted illegally
Classified Documents at Mar-a-Lago 53%
Program in the Capitol on 6 January 45
quietly paying money to the alleged mistress 35

Source: Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research

a more recent survey The Harris Poll/Harvard University Center for American Political Studies on the subject, conducted July 19–20, does not make a direct comparison between the cases but still supports the idea that Americans will take the impeachment seriously. In the survey, 64 percent of registered voters believed that Trump actively tried to overturn the election results, and 57 percent thought that federal prosecutors had their backs for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Had a very or somewhat strong criminal case against him.

All that said, the unprecedented nature of a former president and active presidential candidate being convicted three times in less than six months makes it very difficult to predict what will happen to his polling numbers. It is easy to imagine that the effect of each successive impeachment will become smaller and smaller as there are fewer people left who can be affected; Every Republican willing to vote for Trump amid the barrage of accusations may already be in his circle, and anyone willing to turn against him may already have done so. On the other hand, it is possible that impeachments will have a cumulative effect if voters are prepared to confront a candidate (perhaps, in their view, politically motivated) indictment but not one reduced to less than three. In fact, this may be an alternative explanation for why the second indictment hurt him more than the first.

And don’t forget: it can’t be indictment Which ultimately sealed Trump’s fate. if he wins the Republican nomination and then If prosecuted for one or more of these charges, he could face more significant political damage. And a conviction before November 5, 2024 — especially in one of the two federal cases — may be hard for many voters to look past. According to YouGov/Yahoo News, 62 percent of registered voters believe Trump should not be allowed to serve as president again if convicted of a serious crime. given America is so divided these daysIt is much less likely that Biden will win the election, 62 percent to 38 percent, but the poll is still a sign that there are plenty of skeptical voters who Trump would have to win to win.


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