Skip to content Skip to footer

Two-Thirds of Voters Want Verdict in Trump Trial Before Election Day

The trial is delayed indefinitely due to a constitutional legal challenge by Trump’s lawyers.

Former President Donald Trump is seen on January 26, 2024, in New York City.

A new poll shows that nearly two-thirds of United States voters want a verdict to be issued before the 2024 election commences in the trial weighing former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Trump faces four federal indictment charges from Department of Justice (DOJ) Special Counsel Jack Smith, relating to his actions (and inaction) during the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, as well as his role in the “fake electors” plot to usurp the results of the Electoral College, which he lost to President Joe Biden.

The charges were filed against Trump in August 2023. Currently, the trial is being delayed indefinitely. The Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled on Tuesday against a claim brought forward by Trump’s lawyers asserting he had “presidential immunity” privileges that protected him from any liability from that day’s events. But the trial might not restart right away, due to Trump’s legal team likely appealing the ruling to the Supreme Court.

A CNN/SSRS poll published Monday suggests that Trump’s delay tactics are deeply unpopular with the U.S. electorate, who wants the trial to be concluded before they go to the polls in the 2024 race, a likely rematch between Trump and Biden.

According to the poll, 48 percent of voters say it’s “essential” the trial be concluded before the election happens, while another 16 percent say they would prefer a verdict come about before that time. Combined, the two measures indicate that 64 percent of the U.S. public want a verdict before voting takes place.

Only 11 percent of voters believe the trial should be delayed until after the election, which Trump has advocated for, while 25 percent indicated it doesn’t matter to them when the trial is held.

Regarding their actual views of Trump’s actions, a plurality of 45 percent, believe Trump acted illegally in his efforts to remain president after the previous election results were tallied. Only 23 percent believe he did nothing wrong.

The Trump legal team’s delay tactics are transparent to most legal experts — by stalling, if Trump wins the 2024 race and becomes president again, he can appoint an attorney general to the DOJ who will likely drop all federal charges against him, or he can try to create yet another constitutional crisis by attempting to pardon himself.

Delaying the trial and avoiding a verdict — particularly a conviction — is essential for Trump, politically speaking. Other polls, including a Morning Consult poll from late January, show that swing voters may sour on him if he is found guilty in any of the four criminal cases he’s facing.

According to that Morning Consult poll, 53 percent say they’d be unwilling to vote for Trump upon conviction on any of the charges he faces. Only 40 percent of voters say they’d be willing to vote for him still if he’s convicted.

Trump can still run for president even if he’s been found guilty of a crime or even sent to prison. The likelihood of that happening before the 2024 election is very slim, as Trump will likely appeal any guilty verdict he may receive.

A critical message, before you scroll away

You may not know that Truthout’s journalism is funded overwhelmingly by individual supporters. Readers just like you ensure that unique stories like the one above make it to print – all from an uncompromised, independent perspective.

At this very moment, we’re conducting a fundraiser with a goal to raise $40,000 in the next 6 days. So, if you’ve found value in what you read today, please consider a tax-deductible donation in any size to ensure this work continues. We thank you kindly for your support.