Aug 16, 2023 - Politics & Policy

53% of Americans approve DOJ prosecuting Trump over Jan. 6: poll

Share who say they would support select presidential candidates, by political party
Data: AP National Opinion Research Center; Chart: Axios Visuals

About 53% of Americans approve of the Justice Department's decision to indict former President Trump over alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election, according to a new AP/Norc poll.

Why it matters: The poll underscores the stark partisan divides in how Americans view Trump's mounting legal woes, as he remains the GOP presidential frontrunner for a potentially historic rematch against President Biden.

  • The poll, which was published Wednesday, was conducted before Trump on Monday was indicted for a fourth time — this time by an Atlanta-area grand jury over an alleged election subversion plot in Georgia.
  • He was indicted by the Justice Department earlier this month and has pleaded not guilty to all federal charges alleging he plotted to overturn the 2020 election.

By the numbers: Only 16% of Republicans approve of the DOJ indictment over Jan. 6 compared to 85% of Democrats and 47% of Independents, per AP.

  • 47% of Americans overall believe that Trump's role in the events of the Jan. 6 attack was illegal, including 80% of Democrats and 15% of Republicans.

On Georgia, 51% of Americans overall said that Trump's attempt to interfere with the state's vote count in the 2020 election was illegal.

  • But 85% of Democrats believe the same compared to 16% of Republicans.

Meanwhile, members of each party expressed high levels of support for the prospect of Biden or Trump becoming their respective 2024 nominees.

  • 82% of Democrats said they would definitely or probably support Biden as the Democratic nominee, while 74% of Republicans said the same of Trump being the GOP nominee.
  • Overall, 45% of Americans said they would support Biden as their party's nominee compared to 36% who said they would back Trump.

Zoom out: Trump now faces 91 criminal counts in four different jurisdictions.

  • He has pleaded not guilty to state charges in a hush-money case, federal charges in a classified documents case and federal charges in an election conspiracy case.
  • He and 18 co-defendants have until Aug. 25 to surrender in the Georgia case election meddling case, which many close to Trump have feared most imperils him.

Go deeper: Why Georgia's case against Trump could be so damaging

Methodology: This AP-NORC poll was conducted Aug. 10-14, 2023 using the AmeriSpeak® Panel. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,165 adults.

  • The margin of sampling error is ±3.8 percentage points at the 95% confidence level among all adults.
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