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2 Apr, 2023 16:04

Trump indictment divides US – poll

47% of respondents believe the charges filed against the former president are politically motivated
Trump indictment divides US – poll

Nearly half of Americans – 45% – believe former US President Donald Trump should be charged with a crime following his indictment last week on charges relating to his alleged payment of hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels, according to an ABC News/Ipsos poll published on Sunday.  

Just under a third (32%) of poll respondents think Trump shouldn’t be charged, while 23% are still undecided, the survey, which was conducted from Thursday through Saturday, revealed. At the same time, exactly half of poll respondents said Thursday’s indictment, which remains sealed, was serious.

Responses were heavily influenced by political affiliation: a whopping 87% of Democrats, 43% of independents and just 29% of Republicans view the charges against Trump as 'serious'. 

Similarly, while overall 47% agreed the charges against the ex-president were politically motivated, that figure comprises 79% of Republicans and just 16% of the Democrats. The figure was 48% among independents.  

While the former president has reportedly been charged with some two dozen crimes, some of them felonies, the indictment is sealed and will remain so until Trump is arraigned on Tuesday. Among poll respondents, 49% argued he should face additional charges related to his alleged incitement of the January 6 riot at the Capitol, while 51% backed Trump being charged for challenging the results of the 2020 US election. 

Trump’s lawyer has questioned the validity of the expected charges and whether Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has jurisdiction, while Trump himself has cast doubts about the impartiality of Judge Juan Merchan, whom he claimed “hates” him. Merchan presided over a recent guilty verdict against the Trump Organization.   

More than half – 57% – of respondents to Sunday’s poll believe Trump should not suspend his 2024 presidential campaign just because of the indictment, and the reality TV star turned politician has vowed to remain in the race regardless of what he has described as “political persecution.”   

The charges reportedly triggered a massive influx of donations, according to the Daily Mail, whose source claimed the would-be 47th president plans to sell merchandise printed with his mugshot if he is arrested. Some, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk, have suggested an arrest could backfire on the administration of President Joe Biden, giving the Republican a “landslide victory.”  

In recent weeks, several polls showed Trump losing ground to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, although the latter has not officially declared his 2024 candidacy. Since the indictment, however, Trump has surged ahead significantly, with a Yahoo-YouGov poll released Saturday showing a 26-point lead over his former protégé.