Criminal conviction could seriously damage Trump’s election hopes, new poll suggests

Donald Trump's hopes for a second presidential term may be damaged if he is convicted in a criminal trial, according to a new poll.

A Politico/Ipsos poll found that while a criminal conviction would not put an end to Mr Trump's electoral ambitions, it could damage his chances in his rematch against Joe Biden in November.

More than a third of independents who responded to the poll said that a criminal conviction would make them less likely to support the former president later this year, according to Politico.

Those sentiments undermine a generally held belief among political analysts that Mr Trump's legal woes will hurt him with potential voters. Despite his numerous controversies, none have seemed to stop the deeply loyal support Mr Trump has among his Republican followers.

Mr Trump has attempted to argue that he, as a former president, should be immune from prosecution. Despite those claims being rejected at nearly every level save for the US Supreme Court, the former president has continued to push the claim to wriggle out of his numerous charges.

Voters don't agree with the former president; according to the poll, 70 per cent of respondents rejected the idea that presidents should be immune from prosecution.

However, far fewer — less than a quarter — trust that the Supreme Court will issue a fair and nonpartisan ruling on the issue.

Approximately half of the respondents said they believe that Mr Trump is guilty of paying hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels. Approximately 86 per cent of Democrat respondents said they believed Mr Trump was guilty, while 54 per cent of independents held the same view. Only 14 per cent of Republicans believe he is guilty.

Those numbers remained largely the same when respondents were asked about Mr Trump's guilt in the Justice Department's 2020 election investigation, his Mar-a-Lago confidential documents case, and regarding the charges brought against him in Fulton County, Georgia for racketeering.

More than half of respondents — 59 per cent — want Mr Trump to stand trial for the Justice Department's 2020 election subversion charges before the 2024 election.

The vast majority of Democratic respondents — 90 per cent — want Mr Trump to go to trial before the election, and 65 per cent of independents agreed. Republicans were less supportive, but even within the party, 26 per cent said they wanted to see Mr Trump stand trial.

The only good news for Mr Trump is that nearly half of respondents do not trust the testimony of his former attorney, Michael Cohen.

Approximately 48 per cent of respondents said they don't find Cohen to be trustworthy. That's a problem for the Manhattan District Attorney's office, which is relying on Cohen's testimony in its case against the former president.

Approximately 38 per cent said they believed that the Manhattan DA's case would be weaker if it relied "in large part" on Cohen's testimony. Only 26 per cent said they believed it would make the case stronger.