Americans are, as ever, split on their feelings to former president Donald Trump, who was this week awaiting an indictment over his alleged hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.
There is good news and bad for the Republican, Ipsos pollsters found — 54 percent of respondents agree with Trump that politics has motivated the criminal case brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
That includes 80 percent of his fellow Republicans and 32 percent of Democrats.
Still, an even bigger share — 70 percent of those surveyed — said it was ‘believable’ that Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign paid Daniels, an adult film actress, for her silence about an alleged sexual encounter.
Nearly two thirds of respondents, including a third of Republicans, said it was also believable that Trump falsified business records and committed fraud.
A majority of Americans say the New York allegations against Donald Trump are both ‘believable’ and ‘politically motivated’
A supporter of former president Donald Trump argues outside at Trump Tower in New York as a grand jury weighed an indictment. Americans are divided over the prosecution
The survey of more than 1,000 US adults offers a snapshot of the US public attitudes toward the allegations, as the case was being weighed by a Manhattan grand jury.
The findings underscore the unprecedented nature of the criminal probes surrounding Trump as he seeks the Republican nomination to run for the White House again in 2024.
The Manhattan District Attorney is probing whether Trump broke any laws when the Trump Organization reimbursed his then-lawyer Michael Cohen for the $130,000 payment to Daniels, which was recorded as a business expense.
Trump, who is facing potentially stiff competition in his third bid for the Republican nomination, has denied ever having an extramarital affair with Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.
He said on Saturday he expected to be arrested on Tuesday and has asked his supporters to respond by giving money to his presidential campaign.
That deadline has since passed and the Manhattan grand jury is weighing whether to indict him, although that hearing appeared to hit a snag on Wednesday as proceedings were cancelled for the day.
Republican Party officials, strategists, and analysts have said Trump’s prosecution would only harden the determination of his most loyal supporters.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a potential rival for the Republican nomination, has criticized what he called the politicization of the Manhattan district attorney’s office but has also taken a veiled swipe at Trump.
Trump responded aggressively with an innuendo-filled post on his Truth Social platform.
About nine in 10 respondents said they had heard about the Manhattan prosecutors’ case against Trump, one of several probes dogging Trump. A county prosecutor in Georgia is considering charges Trump tried to overturn his 2020 election defeat.
Trump falsely claims his loss to Democratic President Joe Biden was due to fraud and was recorded asking Georgia election officials to find the votes Trump needed to win.
Trump also faces US Justice Department probes into his retention of classified documents after leaving the White House as well as his efforts to overturn the 2020 election result.
Some 54 percent of respondents — including 85 percent of Democrats and 21 percent of Republicans — said the accusation that Trump solicited election fraud was believable.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll gathered responses from 1,003 adults nationwide, including 415 self-described Democrats and 383 Republicans. The poll had a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of about 4-6 percentage points in either direction.
Trump has denied ever having an extramarital affair with adult actress Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.