Most Americans think former President Donald Trump should be indicted by a Manhattan grand jury in a historic indictment, yet nearly an equal number think the charges against him are politically motivated, according to a new ABC News/Ipsos report. inches.
According to the poll, 45% think Trump should be charged with a crime in this case, while 32% don’t think so and 23% say they don’t know.
Democrats, without exception, are returning after a grand jury verdict.
Nearly nine in 10 Democrats (88%) think Trump should be indicted in the Manhattan DA’s investigation into a $130,000 hush money payment to adult actress Stormy Daniels, who the couple allegedly had an affair with. Trump has long denied this.
Republicans are less united than Democrats. While a majority, 62%, say Trump should not be impeached, one in five Republicans say they “don’t know” and 16% say he should be impeached, according to ABC News/Ipsos’ KnowledgePanel poll.
Independents see more of a split, with two in five saying they have been accused, 32% saying they haven’t been and 27% saying they don’t know.
Big picture, half of Americans believe crimes are very serious or somewhat serious, while 36% say they are not very serious or not serious at all. A smaller portion, 14%, say they don’t know. Across party lines, 87% of Democrats say crime is very (49%) or somewhat serious (38%), and six in 10 Republicans say crime is not serious (19%) or not serious at all (41% ).
Some members of the public are waiting to see what exactly the indictment involves or what specific charges Trump will face.
Former President Trump has been charged with two dozen counts, including felonies, sources familiar with the indictment told ABC News. The indictment will be handed down when Trump appears in court in New York on Tuesday.
At the same time, a majority of Americans (47%) say the crimes against the former president are politically motivated, a sentiment echoed by top GOP figures. Even a majority of Republicans (79%) think so, as does a plurality of independents (48%), as expected 64% of Democrats take the opposite view, although the outcry is far from overwhelming opposition.
Even Trump’s competitors dismiss the investigation of his own power as political theater.
First Vice President Mike Pence, who is running for president, said the accusation was “offensive” and “unjust.”
“I also think at a time when the American people are so conflicted that this will only serve to further divide our country,” Pence said.
Speaking to ABC News, Trump called the impeachment “political harassment” and “an attack on our country.”
Trump continues to be the front-runner for his party’s nomination among Republican primary voters. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is pulling Trump in the polls, although he has not formally announced his request, said Saturday that “the law is armed for political purposes.”
Only 43% of Americans think Trump’s campaign should be suspended because of the indictment, while most (57%) either say he shouldn’t be indicted (35%) or don’t know (22%).
Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, broke from the party line, telling ABC News that he believes Trump should end his campaign.
“This, above all, is a bigger job than any one person. So, because of the presidency, I think it’s too much of a lateral and a distraction to be able to focus on the knowledge and the presumption of innocence,” Hutchinson said.
However, many Americans are still keen that Trump be impeached for various other controversies in his orbit, with the majority saying he should be charged with classified documents and actions related to the Capitol uprising.
In addition, a slim majority (51%) say they are burdened by their efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Democrats are almost unanimous in this opinion, with 90% to be credited for their efforts to change the outcome of the 2020 election. Nearly half of all independents (49%) feel this way, but only 20% of Republicans agree.
Only 29% of Americans have a favorable opinion of Trump, but President Joe Biden has a similar favorable rating of 32%. Both presidents see a drop in approval in October 2020, with Trump seeing a 35% favorability rating and Biden a 44% rating.
METHODOLOGY — This ABC News/Ipsos poll using the Ipsos Public Affairs Science Panel® was conducted March 31-April 2023, in English and Spanish, among a random national sample of 593 adults. The results have a margin of sampling error of 4.4 points, with the design effect. The party splits are 26-25-40 percent, Democrat-Republican-Independent. See the results of the topline chapters and details on the delivery method this.
ABC News’ Dan Merkle, Ken Goldstein, Aaron Katersky, Katherine Faulders and John Santucci contributed to this report.Yo