Trump verdict likely would move only a small number of votes, poll finds: NPR

Trump supporters and their opponents face off in the criminal court where the former president is on trial Wednesday in New York.

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Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Most people say the outcome of former President Donald Trump’s secret trial in New York will not impact their vote in the 2024 presidential election, but it could have an effect on some key groups, according to the latest NPR/PBS News Hour/Marist Survey. The full results of the investigation will be released Thursday morning.

Overall, two-thirds (67%) said a guilty verdict would make no difference to their vote; three-quarters (76%) said the same about a not guilty verdict.

About one in six voters (17%) said a guilty verdict would make them less likely to vote for Trump. This was the case for a quarter of non-whites and one in five voters earning less than $50,000 a year, as well as those under 45.

Surveys showed Trump making gains among younger voters and non-white voters, but that support often appeared weak, meaning they hadn’t yet made up their minds.

A not guilty verdict would have the opposite effect of a guilty verdict. Nearly one in five voters under the age of 45, nonwhite voters, those earning less than $50,000 a year and others said an acquittal would make them more likely to vote for Trump.

Mike Burr, a Georgia Democrat, told NPR that the trial would not affect his vote because he is voting against Trump.

“The lawsuit sort of asserts that I don’t think anyone should vote for Donald Trump,” Burr said. “I don’t think Donald Trump is good for the country.”

John Duvall, a Republican from Tennessee, took the opposite view.

“I think it’s a big prank,” Duvall said. “This is an attack on Donald Trump. …I’ll vote for him more because of what they’re doing, because it’s illegal. If he is sent to prison, I will still vote for him, because this is a political attack on him.”

Small, but perhaps significant, percentages of core groups of Trump voters also said they would be less likely to vote for Trump if he were convicted: those who live in small towns (17%), whites without a college degree (14%), those living in rural areas (11%), and Republicans (10%).

Just 11% of independents said a guilty verdict would make them less likely to vote for Trump.

In a race expected to be close, any decline, even marginal, could have an effect, but the numbers show how unlikely the trial is to swing many voters, regardless of the verdict.

The opinions of Trump and Biden are simply very fixed.

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