New poll shows Trump lead among independents growing

 May 31, 2024

A new NPR/PBS News Hour/Marist poll showed that former President Donald Trump's lead among independent voters has grown to double digits, but it may already be obsolete in light of his Thursday conviction by a Manhattan jury. 

The poll showed that 54% of independent voters planned to cast their ballots for Trump, while only 42% said they would vote for President Joe Biden.

A lead this large would typically mean an electoral win for Trump, but the poll was conducted between May 21 and 23, more than a week before Trump's conviction on 34 felony counts of falsifying financial documents.

It is difficult to know what impact the conviction will have on Trump's electoral hopes.

Unknown territory

Most Trump supporters have typically viewed the trial as biased and politically motivated, and the indictment last year gave Trump a 10-point bump in the polls rather than hurting him.

Still, it's unknown territory in the U.S. for a leading presidential candidate to be convicted of a crime.

Polls asking voters hypothetical questions about Trump's conviction before it happened suggest that a small number of voters may defect from him because of a conviction, according to Axios.

Given that Trump only has a small lead over Biden in most national polls, a small defection could be enough to give the race to Biden.

Axios did point out that Trump has almost six months to win back voters who might be shaken by his felony conviction.

What will Trump do?

Trump will appeal the verdict on numerous grounds, but the appeals process can move slowly.

If Judge Juan Merchan, who has shown Trump no favor or mercy so far, decides on a jail sentence and won't delay it until after the appeal, he could end up running for president from behind bars.

Trump could attempt to take his appeal straight to the Supreme Court for a faster adjudication, but whether the court would agree to consider it is up in the air.

Will the U.S. justice system allow election interference to the extent of one political party effectively jailing the other political party's nominee?

The uncharted territory will continue for some time as Trump prepares to be sentenced in July on these ridiculous charges and sham prosecution in a district that voted 95% for Biden in 2020.

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Thomas Jefferson
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