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More Than Half of Voters Approve of Donald Trump’s New York Conviction

But a vast majority of Republicans want Trump to stay in the race against President Joe Biden, according to a new survey conducted after the jury's verdict
Graphic conveying former President Donald Trump's surge in support after the second GOP 2024 presidential primary debate.
Getty Images / Morning Consult artwork by Natalie White
June 01, 2024 at 7:59 am UTC

Key Takeaways

  • Over half of voters (54%) approve of the 12 jurors’ historic decision to convict the former president on 34 felony charges related to a 2016 hush-money scheme with adult actress Stormy Daniels. A similar share believes Trump committed a crime.

  • Our Friday survey showed that just 15% of Republican voters nationwide want Trump to drop his White House bid, a bit higher than the 8% of Trump supporters who said the same. That figure among the larger GOP electorate is in line with the share of potential Republican primary voters who supported his last remaining challenger, Nikki Haley, at the end of her campaign.

  • Roughly half of voters said they would oppose the former president’s imprisonment for his 34 class E felonies. The most popular option (at 69%) would be fining Trump, followed by another 49% who would put him on probation.

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Many Americans support the New York jury’s decision to convict former President Donald Trump on 34 felonies related to a scheme to hide his relationship with a porn star at the height of the 2016 presidential campaign, according to a Morning Consult survey conducted just after the verdict was handed down, though few believe he should face time in jail.

At the same time, Trump’s standing against President Joe Biden has seen no overnight decline as few Republicans want him to drop his White House bid. Nor do they want their party’s candidates to distance themselves from the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.

How voters feel about the New York hush-money jury’s decision

According to our latest survey, conducted the day after the verdict among 2,200 registered voters nationwide, over half (54%) approve of the 12 jurors’ historic decision to convict the former president on 34 felony charges related to a 2016 hush-money scheme with adult actress Stormy Daniels. 

A majority of U.S. voters see Trump as a criminal, approve of New York jury’s verdict

Shares of voters who …
Morning Consult Logo
Survey conducted May 31, 2024, among a representative sample of 2,220 registered voters, with an unweighted margin of error of +/-2 percentage points. Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

Our survey found deep partisan divisions over the ruling, though more Democratic voters supported it than Republicans opposed it (88% to 74%). The ruling was popular with over half of independent voters (52%), virtually identical to the share who said they believed Trump was guilty.

In the conviction’s aftermath, Trump has raised familiar cries of a politically motivated campaign against him — not unlike his rhetoric after Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, indicted Trump in March 2023. That rhetoric continues to resonate with the bulk of the Republican base, but over the past 14 months, the share of the overall electorate who believes Trump committed a crime has grown. 

More voters believe Trump’s hush-money case was driven by evidence since last year

Shares of voters who saw the hush-money case as primarily due to the following after charges were filed, and after former President Donald Trump was convicted on 34 felony charges:
Morning Consult Logo
Survey conducted May 31, 2024, among a representative sample of 2,220 registered voters, with an unweighted margin of error of +/-2 percentage points. Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

Our latest survey found that 52% of voters believe Trump committed crimes related to his affair with Daniels, up from 46% at the time of his indictment last year. The growth was driven by Democratic voters (from 77% to 88%), while Republicans held firm in their belief that the case was politically motivated (76% to 77%).

Among independent voters, the change was a mixed bag for Trump: As they formed opinions, belief grew on both sides of the question, though the change favored Trump on balance.  

The political implications of Trump’s guilty verdict

After a ruling that nearly 9 in 10 voters said they’d heard at least something about overnight, Trump’s contest against Biden continues to be tight. He’s faced little pressure from elite Republican voices to end his campaign, nor does he face it from the bulk of the Republican electorate. 

4 in 5 Republicans oppose Trump ending his 2024 campaign

Share of voters who said former President Donald Trump should or should not end his 2024 presidential campaign
Morning Consult Logo
Survey conducted May 31, 2024, among a representative sample of 2,220 registered voters, with an unweighted margin of error of +/-2 percentage points. Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

Our Friday survey showed that just 15% of Republican voters nationwide want Trump to drop his White House bid, a bit higher than the 8% of Trump supporters who said the same. That figure among the larger Republican electorate is in line with the share of potential Republican primary voters (a bloc that included a small share of independents) who supported his last remaining primary challenger in our tracking at the end of her campaign. 

While there’s been little intraparty pressure on Trump, the survey reveals there is enormous pressure on other Republican politicians.

Trump’s backers want Republican politicians to stand with Trump

Shares of voters who said Republican politicians should do the following:
Morning Consult Logo
Survey conducted May 31, 2024, among a representative sample of 2,220 registered voters, with an unweighted margin of error of +/-2 percentage points. Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

Roughly 4 in 5 Trump voters (and about 7 in 10 Republicans) believe other Republican politicians should publicly campaign with Trump and raise money for his presidential campaign.

While the majority of the overall electorate thinks Republican politicians should withdraw their support for Trump following his conviction, few within his base or party’s ranks share that sentiment — with similar divides over whether those same officials should stand up for the U.S. judicial system.

Just over a quarter of Trump voters (27%) said GOP politicians should defend the criminal justice system following Trump’s conviction, compared with 53% of the overall electorate that said the same.   

What voters expect to see next in court

Trump’s hush-money legal saga will face its next inflection point on July 11, when the judge overseeing the case has scheduled a sentencing hearing. Despite voters’ belief that Trump is guilty and their support for the verdict, the idea of locking him up could prove divisive. 

Trump’s imprisonment is unpopular with half of voters

Shares of voters who said former President Donald Trump should or should not face the following punishments following his conviction on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records:
Morning Consult Logo
Voters were informed that a class E felony is punishable by up to four years of prison, a fine or probation per count.
Survey conducted May 31, 2024, among a representative sample of 2,220 registered voters, with an unweighted margin of error of +/-2 percentage points. Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

Roughly half of voters — including 18% of Democrats, 49% of independents and 82% of Republicans — said they would oppose the former president’s imprisonment for his 34 class E felonies, which carry a maximum sentence of up to four years in prison each. Among the overall electorate, the most popular option (at 69%) would be fining Trump, followed by another 49% who would put him on probation. 

That question will never actually go before voters, but Trump’s candidacy will. As Trump faces two other cases at the federal level related to his handling of classified documents after leaving the White House and his behavior after the 2020 presidential election that led to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, the bulk of the electorate would like to see answers on those too.  

7 in 10 voters want answers in Trump’s federal cases before election

Share of informed voters who said it was important or not that verdicts are reached in former President Donald Trump’s other open cases before the November 2024 election:
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An informed voter is one who reported hearing at least something about Trump’s federal cases.
Share of informed voters who said it was important or not that verdicts are reached in former President Donald Trump’s other open cases before the November 2024 election:

Seven in 10 voters said it is very or somewhat important that verdicts in those cases are reached before the November election, including 49% who said it is “very important.” Among independent voters, 43% see the matter as critical, along with 26% of Republicans, as legal maneuvering threatens to push the two cases beyond Election Day. 

The bottom line

Trump’s criminality is accepted by the bulk of the electorate — and indeed by nearly 1 in 5 voters in his own party. Time will tell whether this will weigh on his campaign. 

But as roughly 4 in 5 Republican voters say they want him to continue his campaign, politicians on the right face little incentive to try remove him from the political stage — continuing a cycle that has fueled his strength throughout his time atop the party. 

A headshot photograph of Eli Yokley
Eli Yokley
U.S. Politics Analyst

Eli Yokley is Morning Consult’s U.S. politics analyst. Eli joined Morning Consult in 2016 from Roll Call, where he reported on House and Senate campaigns after five years of covering state-level politics in the Show Me State while studying at the University of Missouri in Columbia, including contributions to The New York Times, Politico and The Daily Beast. Follow him on Twitter @eyokley. Interested in connecting with Eli to discuss his analysis or for a media engagement or speaking opportunity? Email [email protected].

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