• Polling

Most Americans See All Indictments Against Trump as Both Serious and Legitimate

Friday, August 25, 2023 By Bryan Bennett
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Poll: The Trump Indictments

This Navigator Research report contains polling data on the recent indictments of Donald Trump, including tracking on whether Americans believe Trump has committed a crime in general, assessments of each of the four criminal indictments against him, how much they have heard about each indictment, and whether Americans believe each are serious or legitimate charges rather than unserious charges or “witch hunts.”

By a two-to-one margin, most Americans continue to believe Donald Trump has committed a crime.


More than three in five Americans believe that Donald Trump has committed a crime (net +32; 62 percent committed a crime – 30 percent did not commit a crime), including independents by 49 points (67 percent committed a crime – 18 percent did not), nine in ten Democrats (net +87; 92 percent committed a crime – 5 percent did not), and nearly three in ten Republicans (net -33; 28 percent committed a crime – 18 percent did not). While nearly two in three white Americans believe Trump has committed a crime (57 percent), overwhelming shares of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (83 percent), Black Americans (81 percent), and Hispanic Americans (72 percent) believe he has. Other demographic subgroups most likely to believe Trump has committed a crime include college-educated women (76 percent), Americans under the age of 35 (71 percent), and independent women (69 percent). 

  • The public now splits evenly on whether they believe Trump will be convicted of the crimes of which he is accused (net +1; 42 percent will – 41 percent will not), a net 7-point shift from two weeks ago prior to Trump’s indictment in Fulton County, Georgia. This shift is driven almost exclusively by independents, who split evenly on whether he will be convicted (net +1; 40 percent will – 39 percent will not) compared to our last survey when they were significantly more likely to believe he would not be convicted (net -22; 26 percent will – 48 percent will not).
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: More Say Trump Will Be Convicted After His Most Recent Indictment; Three in Five Continue to Say He Committed a Crime

More than two in three have heard about each of the four indictments against Trump, with the most hearing about the federal indictment for his efforts to overturn the election leading up to the events of January 6.


74 percent of Americans have heard, seen, or read about Trump’s indictment by Special Counsel Jack Smith “for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election leading up to the January 6th, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, with charges including conspiracy to defraud the United States” (47 percent “a lot”). While 68 percent have heard at least some about his indictment last week in Georgia on state charges to overturn the election in that state (68 percent; 38 percent “a lot”), more have heard about the indictment for mishandling classified documents (72 percent at least some; 43 percent “a lot”); the smallest share has heard about his indictment in New York for falsifying business records (64 percent at least some; 34 percent “a lot”).

Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: Americans Hearing the Most About Trump’s Recent Indictment on 2020 Election Results, Least on Manhattan Case

About three in five Americans believe each of the indictments against Trump is a legitimate investigation rather than a “witch hunt.”


Roughly seven in ten Americans — including similar shares among independents — believe that the indictments brought so far against Trump are serious, and about 60 percent say the same about whether they are legitimate investigations compared to just two in five who say they are “witch hunts,” with little differentiation based on the charges asked about: 

  • Donald Trump was indicted for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election leading up to the January 6th, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, with charges including conspiracy to defraud the United States (70 percent serious charges; 59 percent legitimate investigation); 
  • Donald Trump was indicted for mishandling classified documents from his time as President, with charges including obstruction of justice and destruction or falsification of records (70 percent serious charges; 59 percent legitimate investigation); 
  • Donald Trump was indicted in Georgia for his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss in the state, with charges including a violation of the state racketeering law, conspiracy to impersonate a public officer, forgery, and making false statements to government officials and law enforcement (69 percent serious charges; 58 percent legitimate investigation); and,
  • Donald Trump was indicted in Manhattan for falsifying business records, with charges including allegedly using campaign funds for personal expenses including a hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, and then lying about it (64 percent serious charges; 59 percent legitimate investigation).
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: Majorities View Each Set of Charges Against Trump As Serious
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: Trump’s January 6th, Georgia, and Classified Documents Charges Are Seen as Most Serious; All Are Seen as Legitimate

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About The Study

Global Strategy Group conducted public opinion surveys among a sample of 1,000 registered voters from August 17-August 21, 2023. 105 additional interviews were conducted among Hispanic voters. 75 additional interviews were conducted among Asian American and Pacific Islander voters. 103 additional interviews were conducted among African American voters. 100 additional interviews were conducted among independent voters. 100 additional interviews were conducted among those living in households with at least one union member. The survey was conducted online, recruiting respondents from an opt-in online panel vendor. Respondents were verified against a voter file and special care was taken to ensure the demographic composition of our sample matched that of the national registered voter population across a variety of demographic variables.

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About Navigator

In a world where the news cycle is the length of a tweet, our leaders often lack the real-time public-sentiment analysis to shape the best approaches to talking about the issues that matter the most. Navigator is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates by conducting research and reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press. Navigator is a project led by pollsters from Global Strategy Group and GBAO along with an advisory committee, including: Andrea Purse, progressive strategist; Arkadi Gerney, The Hub Project; Joel Payne, The Hub Project; Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List; Delvone Michael, Working Families; Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute; Mike Podhorzer, AFL-CIO; Jesse Ferguson, progressive strategist; Navin Nayak, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Stephanie Valencia, EquisLabs; and Melanie Newman, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

For press inquiries contact: press@navigatorresearch.org