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Here’s How Polls are Reacting to Trump’s Conviction

“But, you know what, even if he did do it,” Dave Chappelle cuts off his sentence, squints his eyes, stretches his mouth, and gives a large, nonchalant shrug. “You know what I mean?”

What was originally a punchline to a racy Michael Jackson joke is now being used on social media in reaction to Trump’s conviction on 34 counts of falsifying business records in a Manhattan courtroom last week. And polling data since the verdict seems to suggest that’s actually how people feel about it.

A snap poll conducted by YouGov in the wake of Trump’s conviction surveyed how around 3,000 U.S. adults felt about Trump’s conviction. Fifty percent of respondents, which skewed more independent and Democratic, believed Trump was guilty, while 30 percent said the former president was not, and another 19 percent were unsure.

Morning Consult’s poll on the conviction had similar findings. Fifty-four percent of registered voters approved of the jury’s verdict, while 39 percent disapproved.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll asked respondents how the conviction could impact their vote come November. While 25 percent of independents and ten percent of Republicans claimed the verdict made them less likely to vote for Trump, 18 percent of independents and 35 percent of Republicans said Thursday’s verdict made them more likely to vote for Trump in November. But, for the majority of Republicans and independents, the conviction had no impact on how they’ll vote in the upcoming election at all. Fifty-six percent of Republicans and independents respectively said the conviction had not changed their minds.

Yet in another post-conviction poll conducted by Daily Mail/J.L. Partners, Trump’s conviction coincided with an increase in his approval ratings. Twenty-two percent of respondents claimed to have a more favorable view of Trump after the guilty verdict came in, while just 16 percent had a more negative view. Nevertheless, a plurality of voters polled saw no change. Thirty-two percent of likely voters who already harbored negative attitudes toward Trump did not have any change of opinion. As was the case for 27 percent of likely voters who had a preexisting positive view towards Trump.

If nothing else, Trump’s conviction was intended to sink his polling numbers as Democrats and their allies in the corporate media uses every opportunity to make “convicted felon” Trump’s brand just as Trump has so effectively branded them—“fake,” “crooked,” “sleepy,” “little,” and so on. But that’s not happening. The average polling margin for a head-to-head matchup between Biden and Trump has remained relatively steady at about one percent for the past month. The first polls coming out post conviction don’t suggest any movement one way or the other. One poll has Biden winning, one says it’s a tie, a handful say Trump is on top.

But the popular vote doesn’t mean much for how we elect the president in this country. When Trump won in 2016, there was much ado about Trump losing the popular vote—so much so that many liberal commentators said the Electoral College ought to be put to bed. Nevertheless, Hillary Clinton could thank her popular vote victory solely to a four million vote differential in California. When Biden won both the popular vote and Electoral College in 2020, his margins in the Golden State accounted for almost the entirety of the Democratic ticket’s popular vote advantage.

All that is to say: It’s the swing states, stupid. And early polls suggest Trump’s conviction hasn’t changed things in these crucial states either. In Georgia, a Quinnipiac University poll conducted from May 30 to June 3 found Trump leading Biden by 5 points head to head, and 6 points when accounting for third party candidates. A MNS/Mitchell Research poll in Michigan found the race is a dead heat in a state where polls have flip-flopped between Trump and Biden within a few percentage points. In North Carolina, Trump still seems firmly in control.

It’s fun to watch polls like the stock market. Lines go up and down. Speculation ensues. But Americans are faced with a decision where everything seems already baked into the cake. The election is scheduled for November 5, but it might as well be tomorrow. Jacta alea est.

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