Views of Trump trial unchanged following verdict — CBS News poll


Views about former President Donald Trump’s New York criminal trial after the verdict look much like they did before it took place. 

Just over half the country thought Trump was guilty before the verdict, and now just over half think the jury reached the right verdict and that the trial was fair. 

Republicans remain overwhelmingly of the belief that Trump was treated unfairly. Echoing the former president’s sentiments, those who say the verdict was wrong call the jury biased, say the evidence was insufficient and the charges politically motivated.

And in another marker of the nation’s partisan divisions, half the country thinks Trump is unfit to be president now that he’s been convicted of a crime.

In all, we recontacted the Americans we interviewed before the verdict was reached, and hearing the jury’s decision hasn’t changed a lot of their minds.

There are some implications for views of the U.S. justice system as a whole. Most Democrats say it’s made them more confident in the justice system. Among Republicans, three quarters say it’s made them less confident in it.

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Overall, opinions of the verdict are in line with what views of Trump’s guilt or innocence were before the verdict was reached. Among those who thought Trump was guilty before hearing the verdict, nine in 10 now say the jury reached the right verdict — and vice versa for those who previously thought he wasn’t guilty.

In all, the verdict doesn’t elicit any one widespread emotion from the country. Democrats feel mostly glad and relieved, but not many say they’re hopeful. Republicans are more disappointed than angry, but not particularly surprised. (Respondents could express multiple feelings.)

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Most Republicans don’t think Trump was convicted of serious crimes in this case. Among those who feel the jury reached the wrong verdict, six in 10 say the crimes are “not at all serious.” And they by and large feel Trump was treated worse than most other criminal defendants.

There’s also disagreement on what punishment fits the crime, if any. Most Americans do not say Trump should serve time in prison for his conviction, but views here are also very partisan.

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In keeping with their view that the verdict was wrong, rank-and-file Republicans generally want the party to be loyal to Trump. We’ve seen this desire for loyalty expressed across many previous issues and also during the primary season.

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While opinion did not shift much in the immediate aftermath of the verdict, there’s certainly some room for movement — especially among those who haven’t been paying close attention. Those who have paid the most attention to the trial hold the firmest beliefs about it. Among those who hadn’t heard much about the trial pre-verdict, most say they’re still not following it very closely. 

This CBS News/YouGov survey is based on a nationally representative sample of 989 U.S. adults who were recontacted on May 30-June 1, 2024, after the conclusion of Donald Trump’s criminal trial in New York City, following an initial survey of 1,402 adults conducted on May 14-21, 2024, before a verdict was reached. The margin of error for the total sample in the recontact survey is ±5.2 points.

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