Former President Donald Trump’s criminal indictment on charges of mishandling government secrets appears to have dented his popularity
among Republicans but only slightly, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
The dip suggests some Republicans could be growing weary of Trump’s never ending legal drama after he became the first former president in U.S. history to be indicted on federal criminal charges.
Trump, who was also indicted on separate charges in New York this spring, pleaded not guilty this month to 37 felony counts accusing him of improperly storing classified documents at his Mara Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, concealing them from investigators and refusing to turn them over when subpoenaed.
The poll also finds that U.S. adults overall are slightly more likely than they were earlier in the year to believe the former president acted illegally in his handling of classified documents stashed at Mar-a-Lago. Just over half 53% now say he broke the law, compared with 47% in the April AP-NORC poll.
But most of that increase is attributable to Democrats. An overwhelming majority of Democratic voters 84% now say they think Trump broke the law in connection to the documents, compared with 75% who said so in April. When it comes to Republicans, however, only about a quarter say Trump acted illegally in the Mar-a-Lago case, about the same as in April.
An additional 29% said he acted unethically but did not do anything illegal, while 26% said they believe he did nothing wrong, with the rest saying they didn’t know enough to say.
They include Patty Faber, a registered Republican who lives north of Phoenix and was dismissive of the charges. “It’s a bunch of hooey,” said Faber, 62, who runs an RV park. “Should he have taken all that stuff home?
No. But other presidents have also taken things home,” she said, noting that President Joe Biden and former Vice President Mike Pence were also found to have classified documents.