March 27, 2023
Donald Trump Investigations
NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist National Poll
Majority of Americans Think Trump Investigations are Fair…Three in Four Say Trump Did Something Wrong
Former President Donald Trump is engulfed in multiple investigations, including probes into a hush-money coverup, election interference, his handling of classified documents, and his involvement in the January 6th events at the U.S. Capitol. And, a majority of Americans think these investigations are fair. While most Americans do not go so far as to say Trump did something illegal, they do think Trump engaged in some type of wrongful activity. Trump’s legal woes mount as he campaigns for another term in office – a presidential bid that more than six in ten Americans do not want.
A majority of Americans (56%) think the investigations into former President Donald Trump are fair. 41%, though, consider the probes to be a “witch hunt.” Perceptions align closely with partisanship with 87% of Democrats and 51% of independents reporting the investigations are above board. Nearly one in five Republicans (18%) agree. Most Republicans (80%), though, think the investigations are a “witch hunt.”
Most Americans perceive Trump has engaged in improper behavior. A plurality of Americans (46%) think the former president has done something illegal, and an additional 29% consider Trump to have done something unethical but not illegal. Only 23% of Americans say Trump has done nothing wrong.
Most Democrats (78%) consider Trump’s actions to be illegal. While majorities of Republicans and independents perceive wrongdoing by Trump, there is less consensus about the criminality of his actions. 41% of independents say Trump did something illegal, and 33% consider his actions to be unethical but not criminal. While 45% of Republicans think Trump did nothing wrong, 10% say Trump broke the law, and 43% believe he engaged in unethical behavior.
More than six in ten Americans (61%) do not want Trump to be President, again. 38% want him to be elected to another term. 89% of Democrats, 64% independents, and 21% of Republicans do not want Trump to return to the White House. 76% of Republicans want Trump to be president, again. Of note, 41% of white Evangelical Christians are against a second Trump Administration.
39% of Americans, notched down from 42% in November of 2022, have a favorable opinion of Trump. 51% have an unfavorable view of the former president.
"Amid multiple allegations of wrongdoing against former President Trump, what's striking is that, although Republicans still largely back him, white evangelical Christians are not as strongly behind him," says Lee M. Miringoff, Director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion. "There is a consensus among Republicans that, although everything may not have been above board, Trump has done nothing illegal."