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Fewer Voters Think Trump Committed Crimes, Polls Show

U.S.Fewer Voters Think Trump Committed Crimes, Polls Show

Late last year, it seemed likely that former President Donald J. Trump would spend part of the 2024 campaign facing at least one, if not multiple, criminal trials. As he was charged with more crimes and as the trial dates drew closer, the share of voters who said he had committed crimes ticked up.

The Trump team has pushed to stall the trials as much as possible, hoping to delay any verdicts until after the general election in November. Beyond that, his team has tried to wring the indictments for any political advantage it could find.

The tactics may be paying off. The share of Americans who say that Mr. Trump committed serious federal crimes, steadily on the rise since the fall of 2022, has declined since December, the latest New York Times/Siena College poll found.

Voters across the political spectrum are now less likely to say that Mr. Trump acted criminally. Democrats are 7 percentage points less likely to say that they think Mr. Trump committed crimes, while the share of political independents who said the same is down 9 percentage points. Republicans have remained relatively stable, only ticking down one point since the end of last year.

In December, Mr. Trump’s civil cases dominated the headlines and he faced gag orders limiting his speech. But the drumbeat of legal developments has slowed in some cases and turned in Mr. Trump’s favor in others as he awaits word from the U.S. Supreme Court on whether he is immune from prosecution.

Mr. Trump’s team was thrilled by the delay in his federal election interference trial, which many of his advisers see as the one with the most potential to be politically damaging. And while they are not looking forward to the prospect of being in court later this month in New York, they are less concerned that the specifics in the case will hurt him with voters, who they think have become inured to reports about his personal behavior.

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