Wildcard 2024: Trump Criminal Trial Verdict Throws 2024 Presidential Election Into Uncharted Waters!

Since former President Donald Trump was found guilty in his historic trial in New York City, his repeat with Vice President Joe Biden in 2024 will be very different from the first time they ran against each other. Trump is the first president, living or dead, to go on trial for a crime. He is also the first major party leader to run for president while being a convicted felon.

If he is found guilty of all 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, it could immediately change the course of the presidential race. Trump currently has a slight edge in national polls and public opinion polls in most of the key battleground states that will likely decide the election.

But two-thirds of registered voters across the country asked in an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist National Poll released on Thursday, just hours before the shocking decision, that a conviction will not affect their vote in the presidential election. 17% said they would be less likely to vote for Trump if he were found guilty, while 15% said they would be more likely to vote for the former president.

If Donald Trump is a convicted felon before the election in November, that has to mean something to the few people who haven’t chosen yet in the six states that will decide the election, said Chris Moyer, a veteran Democratic strategist, to Fox News.

Moyer, who has worked on several Democratic presidential campaigns before, said, “Every little thing that happens in this race could swing voters one way or another.” Anyone who wants to run for office doesn’t want to be a convicted criminal.

Colin Reed, a Republican consultant for a long time, said, “It’s never a good thing to be convicted of a crime, in life or politics.” “But the old rules and the old way of thinking have never really applied to Donald Trump in his life as a politician,” Reed, who has worked on several GOP presidential campaigns, said. “It remains to be seen if this is a political anvil or if it’s just another chapter in a long saga of ups and downs for a guy who survived seemingly insurmountable political odds before,” he said.

In 2016, Trump paid adult film actress Stormy Daniels money to keep quiet about his claimed affair with her. He was charged with falsifying business records in connection with these payments. Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, paid Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, $130,000 to keep quiet about claims that she had an affair with Trump in 2006. Prosecutors said this was the same thing as trying to change the 2016 election illegally.  Both Cohen and Daniels appeared for the government, and Trump’s lawyers grilled them during cross-examination. This case has received considerable attention on TV, online, and social media.

The former president has denied many times that he lied about business records and the alleged sexual encounter with Daniels. He has also said many times, without proof, that the case was “prosecuted directly from the inner halls of the White House and DOJ.” The judge in the case also fined Trump several times and threatened to put him in jail for breaking a gag order that was meant to keep witnesses and jurors safe from Trump’s insults.

Trump Criminal Trial Verdict Throws 2024 Presidential Election Into Uncharted Waters

In a press conference after the decision, Trump called it “disgraceful” and said the trial was “rigged.” He also said that the “real verdict is going to be Nov. 5 by the people,” referring to his rematch with Biden for president. On Fox News’ Brooke Singman, Trump said, “The whole thing was rigged from the start, from the venue to the judge.” He will have a news conference on Friday at 11 a.m. ET.

He said that he didn’t think “a guilty verdict would fundamentally change the landscape of the race.” Chris Anderson is a veteran pollster who is part of the Fox News Election Decision Team and the Democratic partner on the Fox News Poll. Both Cohen and Daniels appeared for the government, and Trump’s lawyers grilled them during cross-examination. This case has gotten a lot of attention on TV, online, and social media.

Professor and chair of politics at the University of Texas Daron Shaw is also a member of the Fox News Decision Team and the Republican partner on the Fox News Poll. He said, “Before 2020, no one would have thought that a candidate could survive a criminal conviction.”

“But things and times have changed.” The jury’s decision could be important, but Shaw stressed that he thought a conviction in this case would not significantly change the way the race was fought. Both said that “attitudes are so set in concrete” about the past Republican president and the Democrat who took over the White House after him.

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