51 percent say Trump is guilty in pending cases: survey

A slight majority of Americans said that they believe former President Trump is guilty in both of his federal criminal cases, according to a new Politico Magazine-Ipsos poll released Friday.

About 51 percent of respondents — 14 percent of Republicans and 88 percent of Democrats — said Trump is likely guilty in the federal case in which he is charged with conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and conspiracy against rights. 

Another 52 percent answered the same for the former president’s alleged mishandling of classified documents. 

Federal prosecutors allege Trump headed a scheme to overturn the 2020 election results with fraudulent Electoral College votes. They have proposed a Jan. 2 start date for a trial, and the poll found that about 60 percent of Americans want the trial to take place before the majority of the 2024 GOP primary elections.

A similar percentage of respondents said he should stand trial before the primaries in his classified documents case. 

The partisan split on trial timing has worsened since a similar in June, researchers noted. In the previous poll, 46 percent of Republicans said Trump should stand trial before the 2024 general election, while now only 33 percent of Republicans share that opinion.

A majority of Americans surveyed in the new poll also believe that the Justice Department’s charging decisions were not politically motivated, 59 percent, going against claims made by Trump and other Republicans. Trump and others have often claimed that the Justice Department has been “weaponized” by the Biden administration to attack politically.

The trials are also expected to have a negative impact on Trump’s popularity, according to the poll. While a sizable minority, 44 percent, of respondents said the trials will have no impact on their opinion of Trump, about a third — including a third of independents — said a conviction would make them less likely to support the former president.

The poll surveyed about 1,000 people online last week. It has a margin of error of about 3 percentage points.

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