May 17, 2024

A new YouGov poll for Yahoo News shows that 52% of Americans now believe the central premise of Donald Trump’s hush money trial: that he did "falsify documents to conceal a hush money payment to a porn star." Just 22% say he did not, while roughly one-quarter say they don't know.

Nearly half of Americans said they were following the trial at least somewhat closely, at 48%, while 52% said they were not. 

Still, the trial itself appears to be affecting public opinion. Before the trial began last month, the same poll found that 48% believed Trump had falsified documents—a 4-point increase and a 7-point increase since March 2023.

Overall approval of the trial has also gotten a sizable bump, from a 7-point margin last month to a 12-point margin now, 49% to 37%.

In short, Trump is losing by a lot, to borrow a phrase, on most counts. Here's how the three major pillars of the prosecution's case poll:

  • 45% believe that Trump and Stormy Daniels had sex, and just 14% disagree (the defense actually began the trial with the contention that the two did not have sex)

  • 43% say Trump made a deal with the National Enquirer to buy and kill bad stories about him, and just 17% don't believe that

  • 50% believe that deal was struck to protect Trump's 2016 campaign bid, and just 18% say that's false

Even among Republicans, roughly 20% or more believe the central tenets of the prosecution's case.

All that said, practically no one is excited by the case, with just 6% calling themselves enthusiastic, 31% saying they’re bored, 27% angry, and 25% saying they’re interested.

Still, the survey suggests a guilty verdict could hurt Trump in the polls. In the head-to-head match up, Trump and President Joe Biden were even at 45% among registered voters. But when asked who they would vote for if Trump is "convicted of a serious crime in the coming months,” Biden opened up a 7-point lead over his rival, with 46% to 39%. 

Likewise, half of Americans said they consider falsifying documents to conceal such a payment to be a "serious crime," while 36% did not.

Previous polling has shown that voters are taking the hush money trial seriously and a conviction could hurt Trump electorally. The findings of this new YouGov poll surely back that up.

Republished with permission from Daily Kos.

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