Felony Counts? How Trump’s Guilty Verdict Shakes Up The 2024 Election

While, overall, an anti-Trump message focused on his conviction is more likely to persuade voters than one focused on his efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, highlighting the policy stakes of the election is as effective—or even more effective—with independents and low-propensity voters.

June 14, 2024

Blueprint’s latest poll, fielded in the immediate wake of the guilty verdict in the hush money case against Donald Trump, finds that the overwhelming majority of voters are aware of the New York trial and most think it was legitimate. It also shows that while a plurality of voters say that Trump’s conviction won’t change their vote, nearly equal shares say that the guilty verdict makes them more likely (28%) and less likely (29%) to vote for him, with particularly high shares of Black voters, Latino voters, and 2020 non-voters (those who either didn’t vote or voted for someone other than Biden or Trump in 2020) saying that it makes them less likely to cast their vote for him in November. 

Finally, we conducted a test to determine whether voters are more compelled by the policy stakes of this election or by Trump’s criminal conviction. To do this, we presented voters with two arguments against Trump—one focused on his commitment to repealing the Affordable Care Act and one focused on the guilty verdict. Voters overall find the criminal conviction argument more persuasive than the Affordable Care Act argument (32% to 25%), though more than 40% say they’re not sure which is more persuasive. But independents find the statements equally persuasive, while 2020 non-voters are more likely to be compelled by a policy argument than they are by a criminal conviction argument (34% to 23%)—suggesting that lower-engagement voters remain more concerned about the policy impact of this election. Notably, a significantly higher than average share of Black voters finds the criminal conviction argument more persuasive, indicating that the verdict could provide Democrats with a powerful messaging tool to preserve their coalition and run up the score with Black voters. 

  • Almost all voters are aware of Trump’s hush money trial. An overwhelming majority of voters, 94%, have heard about the trial, including nearly equal shares of Democrats and Republicans (96% and 95%, respectively). Awareness is slightly lower among independents (89% have heard), as well as 2020 non-voters (85% have heard), Latino voters (84% have heard), and younger voters aged 18-44 (89% have heard). 
  • Contrary to narratives being pushed by Trump and his allies, most voters believe that the trial was legitimate. 57% of voters believe that the trial was legitimate, including 98% of Democrats and 67% of independents–but only 11% of Republicans say it was legitimate. 90% of Black voters and 76% of Latino voters say the trial was legitimate, compared to 49% of white voters. There is a noticeable age divide in assessments of the trial’s legitimacy: 65% of voters aged 18-44 said it was legitimate, compared to 55% of those aged 46-64 and 47% of voters 65 and up. Finally, 72% of 2020 non-voters think the trial was legitimate. 
  • A plurality of voters say that Trump being found guilty doesn’t change their vote; nearly equal shares of voters say the guilty verdict makes them more likely (28%) and less likely (29%)  to vote for him.  42% of respondents, a plurality, say that Trump’s conviction doesn’t affect whether or not they’ll vote for him. Meanwhile, 29% say it makes them somewhat or much less likely to vote for Trump, while nearly the same number, 28%, say it makes them somewhat or much more likely to vote for him. 61% of Republicans say the guilty verdict makes them more likely to vote for Trump, compared to 45% of Democrats who say it makes them less likely to vote for him. 41% of independents say Trump’s conviction makes them less likely to vote for him, compared to 48% who say it won’t change their vote and 11% who say it makes them more likely to vote for him.

    51% of Black voters say Trump’s conviction makes them much less likely to vote for Trump, compared to 15% who say it makes them more likely to vote for him and 34% who say it doesn’t affect their choice. Among Latino voters, 39% say the guilty verdict makes them less likely to vote for Trump, 7% say it makes them more likely to vote for him, and 54% say it doesn’t change their vote.

    Again, responses varied based on age: 41% of voters aged 18-44 say the conviction makes them less likely to vote for Trump, with only 21-22% of those 44 and up saying the same. Meanwhile, 29% of voters aged 44-64 and 40% of voters 65 and up say it makes them more likely to vote for him; just 20% of younger voters say it makes them more supportive of him.

    3% of respondents who voted for Trump in 2020 say the conviction makes them less likely to vote for him, as do 41% of 2020 non-voters. 

 

  • While, overall, an anti-Trump message focused on his conviction is more likely to persuade voters than one focused on his efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, highlighting the policy stakes of the election is as effective—or even more effective—with independents and low-propensity voters. We presented respondents with two statements about Trump—one focused on the guilty verdict and one focused on his promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act—and asked which was a more persuasive reason to vote against him. Overall, 32% of voters find the guilty verdict statement more persuasive and 25% find the Affordable Care Act statement more persuasive; 43% say they’re not sure.

    59% of Democrats are more compelled by the guilty verdict statement, while 35% choose the Affordable Care Act statement. Though the vast majority of Republicans, 82%, say they’re not sure which statement is more persuasive, they are slightly more compelled by the Affordable Care Act statement (11%) than the guilty verdict one (7%). Notably, 31% of independents think the guilty verdict statement is more persuasive and 31% think the Affordable Care Act statement is more persuasive—an equal share.

    A high share of Black voters, 66%, find the guilty verdict statement more persuasive, compared to just 9% who were more compelled by the Affordable Care Act statement and 26% say they’re not sure. Only 18% of Latino voters say they’re not sure which statement is more persuasive, while nearly equal shares find the guilty verdict statement (42%) and the Affordable Care Act statement (41%) more compelling.

    College-educated and non-college-educated voters choose the guilty verdict statement in roughly equal numbers (31% and 33%, respectively), but 20% of non-college-educated voters find the Affordable Care Act statement more compelling, compared to 33% of college-educated voters who do. While the share of voters who say the guilty verdict statement is more compelling is consistent across age cohorts (about a third for each), significantly higher numbers of younger voters are more persuaded by the Affordable Care Act statement (33%) than those aged 45-64 (23%) and those over 65 (15%).

    34% of 2020 non-voters say the Affordable Care Act statement is more persuasive, compared to 23% who find the guilty verdict statement more persuasive and 43% who say they’re not sure. 

PRESS CONTACTS

Alyssa Cass
alyssa@slingshotstrat.com
347-992-5006

Evan Roth Smith
evan@slingshotstrat.com
646-240-0096

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ABOUT THE POLL

Blueprint surveyed an online sample of 1,006 voters from June 1 to June 2. The survey was conducted in English, and its margin of error is ±7.1 percentage points.  Full toplines can be found here and crosstabs are available upon request.