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Historic but not surprising: Trump verdict hasn't changed voter opinion

Anywhere, U.S.A The historic felony conviction of former President Donald J. Trump hasn't changed voter opinion on presidential polling — according to the numbers. 

trump bidenImmediately prior to the verdict in Trump's hush money trial, polling by Scott Rasmussen’s firm RMG Research concluded that 51% of Americans believed Trump was less ethical than most politicians. However, fresh polling in the wake of the court’s decision found that number decreased by just 1%. 

Perhaps even more surprising is that following the conviction, the tie between President Biden and Trump remained effectively unchanged, leaving Trump with the favor of 43% of registered voters, and Biden with 41%.  

"No real change. Just statistical noise," says Rasmussen in relation to the numbers. Echoing in the halls of the Democratic party is the question of how a felony conviction could have had such minimal impact on the Presidential campaign of Trump. 

A recent article by the Los Angeles Times points to the question and attempts to offer a thoughtful response, saying “a lot of people — especially many liberal Democrats — consistently have had trouble wrapping their minds around that basic fact.” It goes on to suggest that as uninformed swing voters hear of the conviction, they will bolster support for Biden, and it could easily translate into victory. 

Rasmussen disagrees. Although plausible, he points out that there is another potential angle to consider. 

"Republicans overwhelmingly see the Trump Trial as part of an ongoing abuse of government power designed to stop Donald Trump,” says Rasmussen. “That surprises Democrats. They can’t understand the cynicism about the process.”

Why can’t they see it? Rasmussen suggests, “Democrats may not see this because their preferred media outlets have shielded them from some very inconvenient truths.” He points to social media suppression of news stories about Hunter Biden’s laptop. Notably, the New York Post’s social media accounts were blocked when they broke the story weeks before the 2020 election, as well as the accounts of users who tried to share the story. Only 23% of Democrats know that this is true.

Considering the fact that 55% of Americans believe it's likely Biden committed crimes that could be brought to court after he leaves office (a number that includes 62% of Independents), it’s possible that the uninformed voters that Democrats are hoping will be swayed away from Trump, could instead potentially lean away from Biden.

“It’s a choice between two politicians with ethical baggage,” says Rasmussen.  “Right now, the most likely result is the conviction of Donald Trump won’t have an impact. Perceptions of the economy and border security will almost certainly play a bigger role in determining our next president.”

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