May 31, 2024 - Politics & Policy

What polls say about Trump’s conviction and the 2024 presidential race

Donald Trump walks to speak to the media after being found guilty following his hush money trial at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 30, 2024

Donald Trump after being found guilty in his hush money trial at Manhattan Criminal Court on May 30. Photo: Seth Wenig-Pool/Getty Images

Former President Trump's historic felony conviction makes half of Republicans even more likely to vote for him, according to a poll in the verdict's immediate aftermath.

Why it matters: In what is gearing up to a tight race to the White House between Trump and President Biden, even small shifts in support could prove decisive.

The big picture: A YouGov poll conducted in the wake of the verdict found that 27% of voters said the conviction made them less likely to vote for Trump, while 26% said they were more likely to vote for him and 39% said the verdict "makes no difference" in how they'll vote.

  • The results were even more stark along partisan lines, with 50% of Republicans saying they're more likely to vote for Trump. Meanwhile, 44% of Democrats said they're now even less likely to vote for him.
  • An ABC News/Ipsos poll released earlier this month found that 80% of Trump supporters said they would continue to support him even if he was convicted. Another 16% said they'd reconsider their support, but only 4% said they'd no longer support him.

Caveat: It's important to take polls with a grain of salt, as they capture only a snapshot in time and are highly dependent on the honesty of respondents.

  • Despite however voters might feel now, the November election remains months away — plenty of time for Trump to recoup any support he loses as a result of the guilty verdict.

Zoom out: However, polls have also shown voters shifting toward Biden in matchups before and after a hypothetical conviction.

  • A Marquette Law School poll released last week asked half its sample of voters how they'd vote if Trump was acquitted, and found Trump beat Biden by 6 points.
  • The other half of the sample was asked how they'd vote if Trump was found guilty, and found Biden beat Trump by 4 points.
  • A Reuters/Ipsos poll released last month found that Biden gained two points in a Trump matchup in which Trump was convicted of a crime, but gained six points if Trump was serving prison time as a result.

State of play: Polling from before the conviction found that Trump led Biden in five out of six key swing states, with the gains largely attributable to Trump's headway with young, Black and Hispanic voters.

  • Trump's dependence on these voters from outside his traditional MAGA base could make him particularly vulnerable in this moment, the New York Times reported.
  • These Trump supporters who come from traditionally Democratic constituencies are especially likely to revert to voting Democrat in the event of a conviction, per the Times.

Zoom in: A New York Times/Siena College poll of six battleground states in October found that about 7% of Trump's supporters said they'd vote for Biden if Trump were found guilty.

  • The same poll found that 21% of young Trump supporters said they'd back Biden in the case of a guilty verdict. Only 2% of Trump's 65-and-older supporter said the same, per the Times.
  • Among Black voters who support Trump, 27% said they'd flip to Biden in the event of a conviction, while only 5% of Trump's white supporters said the same.

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