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Justice

Donald Trump, shadow, Supreme Court
While a majority of Americans last year said Supreme Court justices make decisions based on their political views and not the law, they think that a case concerning Trump's alleged violation of the 14th Amendment will be an outlier. Illustration by WhoWhatWhy from Jesse Collins / Wikimedia (CC BY 3.0 DEED) and President of Ukraine / Wikimedia (CC BY 4.0 DEED)

The majority of Americans support the prosecution of the former president on criminal charges.

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Donald Trump has been trying to convince the country that the criminal charges he faces are a type of “election interference” and constitute a “witch hunt” against him. But Americans aren’t buying it. According to a new poll, a solid majority of 56 percent support the various criminal charges levied against the former president in state and federal courts while only 39 percent oppose them.

If Trump were to be convicted, he would predictably not lose much support from his most fervent backers. A mere 10 percent who view him favorably said a guilty verdict would lower their opinion of the former president while 12 percent said it would raise it.

However, a conviction will hurt Trump among independents. Nearly a quarter of them responded that such an outcome in any of the trials would lower their opinion of the former president.

These numbers are one of the reasons why Trump is trying to delay proceedings in all four cases for as long as possible… preferably until after the election.

In more bad news for the Republicans frontrunner, the poll also shows that, by a slim margin, Americans support the decisions of Colorado and Maine to keep him off the ballot for running afoul of the clause in the 14th Amendment that forbids candidates to run for office who had previously supported an insurrection.

That issue is now being reviewed by the Supreme Court, and voters believe that is where a final decision should be made. However, they are split on what that decision should be.

A plurality of Americans (39 percent) thinks that Trump should appear on all ballots. However, a majority believe that the former president should either be removed from all ballots (30 percent) or that it should be up to individual states to make that decision (26 percent), which would not bode well for him.

Interestingly, while a majority of Americans last year said Supreme Court justices make decisions based on their political views and not the law, they think that this case will be an outlier.

Here, 53 percent of voters believe the final decision will be based on the law and not the personal views of the judges.

Finally, while Americans support the criminal charges filed against Trump and him being kicked off state ballots, they are more skeptical when it comes to the House GOP’s pursuit of President Joe Biden.

Asked about the party-line vote to open an impeachment investigation into the president for vaguely defined offenses, 51 percent of voters said they oppose such a move at this time (including one-third who “strongly oppose” the maneuver), while only 44 percent support it.

None of this is good news for Trump and the GOP. With little legislative accomplishment to present to their voters, House Republicans have made the impeachment of Joe Biden — and the harassment of his son Hunter — a centerpiece of their efforts.

And, in the case of the former president, it seems as though all his ranting and raving about being unfairly treated is falling on deaf ears with a majority of Americans.

Author

  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, former congressional reporter, and director of the WhoWhatWhy Mentor Apprentice Program. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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