The First Post-Conviction Polling Is in – Did the Guilty Verdict Help or Hurt Donald Trump?

Victor J. Blue/The Washington Post via AP

It’s been a week since a New York City jury found Donald Trump guilty on 34 felony counts related to the falsification of business records. Since his conviction, the former president has said the real verdict will come on Election Day when he presumably squares off against President Joe Biden.

So, will the trial move the needle in November? A new set of post-verdict polls is offering a glimpse at where voters stand. On Thursday’s show, Megyn was joined by political commentators Hogan Gidley and David Pakman to discuss the latest numbers and what it means for Trump and Biden.

The Poll Numbers

Overall, Megyn noted that the Real Clear Politics average of the three polls that have come out this past week show that the race is essentially tied. Two polls show Trump up by one and two percentage points, while one has Biden up two.

Some of the most interesting insights have come from a New York Times/Siena College poll of nearly 2,000 swing state voters that found Trump still holds a slight lead over the incumbent. Trump was ahead by 1 point when 1,897 participants in a previous Times/Siena poll of voters in six battleground states were recontacted between June 3 and June 4.

The GOP hopeful did, however, lose ground in overall support. Trump’s 48 percent to 45 percent lead over Biden in April and May polling fell to a 47 percent to 46 percent advantage. 

Looking specifically at supporters, the former president retained 93 percent of the voters who backed him previously. Of the remaining 7 percent, 3 percent said they would now support Biden and 4 percent switched to undecided. Biden, meanwhile, retained 96 percent of his supporters who were recontacted. 

On the enthusiasm front, Trump came out on top. Some 18 percent of Trump supporters said they moved from ”unlikely to vote” to “almost certain” to do so after the verdict, while only 3 percent of Biden backers responded the same.

What It Means for November

To that point, Megyn said she feels like the Trump verdict has galvanized the GOP. “Republicans are having the same kind of moment right now as they had when the attacks were launched on Brett Kavanaugh [in 2018] where it had a way of uniting the Republican Party,” she noted.

From Parkman’s perspective, fundraising is “a pretty good proxy towards enthusiasm” and he thinks Democrats have the upper hand. “[Trump] said that the indictments were great for his fundraising and polling… and he is still lagging Biden by about 50 percent in fundraising,” he said. “So I think the [polling] results are more or less what it seemed like they would be pre-verdict, but I would take the claims that this is just doing such great things for his fundraising with a bit of a grain of salt.”

While Gidley – who served as Trump’s deputy White House press secretary from 2019 to 2020 – believes the ‘lawfare’ against Trump is something voters care about, he is not sure it will be what drives votes come November. 

That notion, he said, has been reflected in the messaging from both sides of the aisle this week. “You saw reaction from the Biden campaign and the administration after the verdict basically saying, ‘No, this is going to be about November‘ and Donald Trump said the same thing,” Gidley explained. “I don’t think the American people care as much about this type of stuff as… they care about their own ecosystem, their own environment.”

That “ecosystem,” in his view, includes hot button issues like inflation and the border. “They care about what they are paying for goods and services now versus a few years ago. That’s what the election is going to come down to,” he said. “And while weaponization of government… against average citizens, including Donald Trump, will be an issue in the campaign, I still think it comes back to the economy and immigration more than anything else.”

You can check out Megyn’s full interview with Gidley and Pakman by tuning in to episode 812 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.