WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - Former President Donald Trump is largely unaffected politically by his New York indictment. A new poll indicates that the investigations in Georgia and Washington may prove to be more problematic.
According to a new poll conducted by The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, only 4 out of 10 U.S. adults think Trump acted unlawfully in New York. He has been charged with making hush-money payments to women who claimed sexual encounters. About half of Americans believe that Trump broke the law when he was under investigation in Georgia for allegedly interfering with the 2020 election vote count.
About half of respondents agree with the Justice Department's investigation into his role in storming the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6, 2021 and his handling classified documents discovered at Mar-a-Lago.
According to the findings, potential charges against Trump in these cases may resonate with the American public more than the alleged cover up of payments made by Trump to porn actress Stormy Daniels at the heights of his 2016 presidential campaign -- accusations that almost 6 out of 10 adults think are politically motivated. The case received a lot of media attention and Trump became the first U.S. former president to be criminally charged. However, legal experts argue that other investigations could pose a much greater risk.
Even some Trump supporters who have been loyal to him for years are concerned about the Georgia case.
I just feel that he got involved in something he shouldn't. Stephanie Trinidad is a Republican from Dracut in Massachusetts who voted for Trump both in 2016 and in 2020.
The poll shows that Trump's indictment has had little political impact, and instead led to a huge fundraising boom. Since the news of his indictment, he's raised over $15 million. Most of it came from new donors. He has also announced a new list of endorsements.
The poll found that only 30% of Americans, including 68% of Republicans, want Trump to run again for president in 2024. These numbers have not changed much since the January AP-NORC survey. Trump's favorability is also unchanged: 34% of U.S. adult adults and 68% Republicans have a positive opinion of him. This was the same as three months ago.
Trump, the undisputed leader in the Republican race, will still face significant headwinds should he win the Republican nomination. According to a poll, 53% of Americans say they won't support Trump in the general elections if he is the GOP nominee.
In the New York case, 41% of respondents said that Trump committed an illegal act. 33 percent believe that he did something unethical, but not illegal. Only a minority of 14% say that he has done nothing wrong.
The poll shows that 57% of Americans believe Trump's indictment was justified. However, just as many Americans think the charges are politically motivated.
Gino Lentine is one of them, a Trump supporter who lives in Akron, Ohio. He said that he didn't care about the case.
Lentine said, "If you want to jail every man and woman in the world who have cheated their spouses and paid them back, you will need to jail the entire country."
"In my opinion, he is innocent - well, he may be guilty, but who knows?" He said. Gas for my car costs me $100,000. "Come on."
The New York poll results paint a more positive picture of Trump than the Georgia investigation by Fulton County District attorney Fani Willis, who is investigating whether Trump or his cronies interfered illegally in Georgia's presidential election in 2020. The special grand jury that was convened in order to hear the evidence said it recommended to Willis to indict over a hundred people, possibly including Trump who had been recorded asking election officials in Georgia to "find 11,780 voters" to help him win. Willis will now decide if he wants to press charges.
In the Georgia case already, 53% of respondents said they believe Trump has broken the law. Twelve percent said that he had done something unethical, but not illegal. Meanwhile, 17% claimed he was innocent.
Trinidad, 36, believes that the investigations Trump is facing are a political distraction designed to prevent him from winning back the White House. She said that when it came to the Georgia case she felt it was a bit different.
"Once we start tampering with our voting system, I get a bit worried because it's our right as American citizens." Once you start fiddling with that, I personally become more concerned," she said. She added that she hadn't yet thought about who she would support in 2024.
About half of Americans, 47%, believe Trump broke the law when it came to his handling of classified information. Meanwhile, 49% of Americans say that he did so in relation to the Capitol riot on Jan. 6. Around 2 out of 10 people think that he acted unethically but not illegally in these cases. Close to this many believe he didn't do anything wrong.
The poll shows that Americans have a partisan view of investigations. In the Georgia case 86% of Democrats, but only 22% of Republicans said they thought Trump did something illegal. In the New York situation, 68% Democrats and 13% Republicans think that he broke the laws.
Nine in ten Democrats, but only one quarter of Republicans, believe the New York indictment was justified. Only about a third (or 9/10) of Democrats and Republicans believe the charges are politically motivated.
Nicole Sawyer is one of them. She's a registered Independent from Middletown, Pennsylvania who usually backs Democrats, and praises Joe Biden. She believes Trump did 'a lot immoral things' which are worth investigating. However, she sees that the investigations are driven by politics.
Sawyer, 45 said, "I think people just throw stuff at him. Anything they can." She views the investigations, which are a distraction, as a distraction away from more important matters, such as Social Security and healthcare. She said that these issues are "overshadowed" by all the drama surrounding Trump.
Sawyer still said that even if Trump was found guilty, "he didn't deserve to become our president."
She said, "I believe that children should be able look up to President Obama and not let a lot of drama distract them from the important things."
Colvin reported in New York.
The survey of 1,230 adults took place April 13-17, using a probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel sample that is intended to be representative of U.S. citizens. The margin of error for all respondents was plus or minus 3.9% percentage points.