2024 Wildcard: Trump’s criminal trial verdict takes the 2024 presidential election into uncharted territory

Former President Donald Trump’s conviction in his historic trial in New York City has thrown his potential 2024 election rematch with President Biden into uncharted territory.

In a historic turn of events, Donald Trump has set a new precedent as the first former or current president to face a criminal trial. Now, he leaves an indelible mark in U.S. political history as the first major party nominee to run for the presidency while carrying the weight of a felony conviction.

The guilty verdict on all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records has the potential to significantly impact the course of the presidential race. Currently, Trump maintains a slight advantage in national polling and public opinion surveys in the key battleground states that will play a crucial role in determining the outcome of the election.

According to a recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist National Poll, the verdict in the trial would not affect the voting decision of two-thirds of registered voters. However, 17% of respondents stated that a conviction of Trump would decrease their likelihood of voting for him, while 15% mentioned that they would be more inclined to support the former president at the ballot box.

According to seasoned Democratic strategist Chris Moyer, the fact that Donald Trump could potentially be a convicted felon by the time November rolls around should hold significant weight for the undecided voters in the six battleground states that will ultimately determine the outcome of the election.

Former President Donald Trump, the expected Republican presidential nominee, is present at his criminal trial at the New York State Supreme Court in New York, New York, on Wednesday, May 29, 2024.

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According to Moyer, an experienced campaign veteran, every small development in the race has the potential to sway voters in one direction or another. He underscores the fact that no candidate wants to be labeled as a convicted felon when their name is on the ballot.

Colin Reed, a well-established Republican consultant, admits that being convicted of a crime is never a favorable situation, whether in personal life or politics.

Reed, an experienced campaign veteran of multiple GOP presidential campaigns, emphasized that Donald Trump has never adhered to the old rules and conventional way of thinking throughout his political career.

Reed pondered whether this situation was a political obstacle or simply another episode in the ongoing rollercoaster of triumphs and setbacks for an individual who has previously overcome seemingly impossible political challenges.

During the 2016 election, Trump faced charges of falsifying business records in connection with payments made to Stormy Daniels. The payments were made by his former attorney, Michael Cohen, in order to keep Daniels quiet about her alleged affair with the adult film actress. Prosecutors contended that this action was an illegal attempt to influence the outcome of the election.

In May 13, 2024, during a recess in his criminal trial in New York City, former President Donald Trump took the opportunity to address the media.

Both Cohen and Daniels testified for the prosecution, facing intense questioning from Trump’s attorneys during cross-examination. This high-profile case has garnered significant media coverage on cable news networks, social media platforms, and online platforms.

The former president has consistently denied allegations of falsifying business records and engaging in a sexual encounter with Daniels. He has repeatedly claimed, without offering any evidence, that the case was orchestrated from within the White House and DOJ.

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The judge in the case fined Trump on multiple occasions and even issued threats of jail time. This was in response to the former president’s repeated violations of a gag order intended to protect witnesses and jurors from his verbal attacks.

In his response to the verdict, Trump expressed his strong disapproval, stating that he found it “disgraceful.” He further accused the trial of being “rigged” and emphasized that the true verdict would be determined by the people on November 5, referring to his upcoming presidential election rematch with Biden.

During an exclusive interview with Fox News’ Brooke Singman, Trump expressed his belief that the entire situation was manipulated right from the beginning. According to him, everything, from the choice of venue to the selection of the judge, was purposely arranged to favor a particular outcome.

The former president has scheduled a news conference for Friday at 11am ET.

According to Chris Anderson, a veteran pollster and member of the Fox News Election Decision Team, he believes that even if there is a guilty verdict, it will not have a significant impact on the race. During the trial, both Cohen and Daniels provided testimonies for the prosecution and were subjected to intense questioning by Trump’s lawyers. This case has garnered immense attention on cable news networks, online platforms, and social media.

The outcome of former President Donald Trump’s criminal trial will have a significant influence on his 2024 election rematch with President Biden.

Daron Shaw, a politics professor and chair at the University of Texas who is also a member of the Fox News Decision Team and the Republican partner on the Fox News Poll, acknowledges that “before 2020, nobody would have believed that a candidate could overcome a criminal conviction.”

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“But times and circumstances have changed. While the jury’s specific findings may hold significance, there is a prevailing belief that a conviction in this case would not significantly alter the dynamics of the race,” Shaw emphasized.

According to both sources, there is a clear indication that attitudes towards both the previous Republican president and the current Democratic successor in the White House are deeply ingrained and difficult to change.

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