Swing state voters may back Trump more if convicted in hush money case, poll finds

 May 15, 2024
An unexpected twist in voter sentiment emerges amidst legal turmoil.Recent polling suggests a guilty verdict in the Stormy Daniels case could surprisingly bolster Donald Trump’s support in crucial swing states, The Telegraph reportedAccording to a new poll conducted by Redfield & Wilton Strategies for The Telegraph, a conviction related to the Stormy Daniels "hush money" trial might lead to increased voter support for Donald Trump in key swing states. The findings come at a time when Trump is facing numerous legal challenges, including the possibility of a 20-year prison sentence.

Impact of Guilty Verdict in Key Swing States

In states like Michigan, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, more voters have indicated that a guilty verdict would make them more likely to support Trump. This sentiment is most pronounced in Georgia, where 35% of polled individuals stated they would be more inclined to support Trump, as opposed to 27% who said they would be less likely.

Approximately 30% of voters in Georgia mentioned that their opinion of Trump would remain unchanged, regardless of the trial's outcome. Conversely, in Arizona, public opinion is divided, with voters equally split on whether a conviction would influence their support for Trump.

Pennsylvania presents a contrasting picture, with a slight majority indicating they would be less inclined to support Trump if he is found guilty.

Trump Faces Numerous Legal Challenges

Donald Trump is confronting significant legal battles, with the Stormy Daniels case being just one among them. He faces 91 felony charges across four different criminal cases, including one that could result in a 20-year sentence over payments made to Daniels. These payments were allegedly made to prevent her from going public about an encounter they had before the 2016 presidential campaign.

The trial is expected to gather more attention with upcoming testimony from Trump’s former associate, Michael Cohen. Cohen's involvement might shed further light on the circumstances surrounding the payments to Daniels.

Voter Sentiment and Judicial Influence

The poll also reflects a significant desire among voters in six battleground states for the electoral process to be determined by the electorate rather than judicial outcomes. Most voters believe that despite Trump's allegations of bias, he would receive a fair trial.

Philip van Scheltinga, director of research at Redfield & Wilton Strategies, emphasized the importance of voter autonomy in election outcomes. "Our polling makes it clear that American voters want an election that is decided by themselves, not by the courts," he stated.

Van Scheltinga further explained, "It is not that surprising that more voters say they’d be more likely to vote for Trump if he is convicted, given what has been happening over the last several years."

Electoral Implications of Trump's Legal Battles

The ongoing investigations into Trump’s actions have not only cemented his nomination by overshadowing other campaigns but have also enhanced his public image as a target of political attacks, potentially aiding his electoral chances.

"A conviction wouldn’t change voters’ perceptions, but it would raise the stakes for this election to another level," Van Scheltinga added. His insights suggest that the legal challenges might paradoxically boost Trump’s campaign, a sentiment echoed in the polling data.

"The investigations into Trump helped secure his nomination, by sucking the air out of other campaigns and making it difficult to criticize him when he was being seen as being attacked. Now, they might just propel him into the White House," concluded Van Scheltinga.

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