Apr 3, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Polls: Most Americans support Trump indictment but say politics played role

Former President Trump speaks during a 2024 election campaign rally in Waco, Texas, on March 25. Photo: Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP via Getty Images

Most Americans approve of the indictment of former President Trump — but a plurality also believes that politics played at least some role, recent polls show.

The big picture: The charges have not yet been publicly released. But there are already stark partisan divides over whether a New York grand jury should’ve indicted the former president for a 2016 hush-money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

By the numbers: A CNN poll released Monday found that 60% of Americans approve of the indictment.

  • Support for the indictment fell along party lines, with 94% of Democrats approving of the decision to indict Trump, while 79% of Republicans disapproved of the decision to indict.
  • 62% of independents approve of the decision to indict Trump.
  • An ABC News/Ipsos poll released Sunday found that 45% of Americans believe Trump should be charged with a crime in the case, while 32% say he should not be charged.

Zoom out: Recent polling also finds that a majority of Americans believe the hush money-related charges against Trump are serious. But among Republicans and independents, the majority say the indictment was politically motivated.

  • A Quinnipiac University poll conducted before news of the indictment emerged Trump found that a majority of Americans think the accusations are either "very serious," 32%, or "somewhat serious," 23%.
  • In the Quinnipiac poll, 62% of Americans — 93% of Republicans and 70% of independents — thought the indictment was mainly motivated by politics. 66% of Democrats said it was mainly motivated by the law.

The CNN poll, which was conducted March 31-April 1, found that 76% of Americans think that politics played a role in the decision to indict Trump, with over half, 52%, saying politics played "a major role."

  • The majority of Republicans, 83%, think politics played a "major role" in the decision to indict, while one-quarter of Democrats think the same.
  • 52% of independents said politics played "a major role."

The ABC News/Ipsos poll also found deep partisan divisions over views of the indictment. The poll found that 47% of Americans — including 79% of Republicans, 48% of independents and 16% of Democrats — believe the charges against Trump in the case are politically motivated.

What to watch: New York City police have bolstered security measures ahead of Trump's expected arraignment on Tuesday.

Go deeper... How Trump plans to fight the indictment

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