To hear Donald Trump tell it, the fact that he keeps getting indicted by prosecutors is a boon to his reelection effort. “Any time they file an indictment, we go way up in the polls,” he said at a dinner shortly after he was charged by the Justice Department with attempting to overturn the 2020 election.
This counterintuitive claim is questionable on its face — if not demonstrably false upon close examination — but it is one among many dubious arguments that Trump and his allies have advanced in recent months as he has been confronted with four different prosecutions brought by the Justice Department, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and, most recently, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office in Georgia.
A new POLITICO Magazine/Ipsos poll provides some bad news for Trump: Even as he remains the clear frontrunner for the Republican nomination, the cascading indictments are likely to take a toll on his general election prospects.
The survey results suggest Americans are taking the cases seriously — particularly the Justice Department’s 2020 election case — and that most people are skeptical of Trump’s claim to be the victim of a legally baseless witch hunt or an elaborate, multi-jurisdictional effort to “weaponize” law enforcement authorities against him.
Furthermore, public sentiment in certain areas — including how quickly to hold a trial and whether to incarcerate Trump if he’s convicted — is moving against the former president when compared to a previous POLITICO Magazine/Ipsos poll conducted in June. This latest poll was conducted from Aug. 18 to Aug. 21, roughly two-and-a-half weeks after Trump’s second federal indictment and several days after Trump was criminally charged in Fulton County. The poll had a sample of 1,032 adults, age 18 or older, who were interviewed online; it has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points for all respondents. [Continue reading…]