Former President Donald Trump was indicted a month ago in a Florida court for his handling of classified documents, pleading not guilty to 37 felony charges, and most Utah voters say they believe the charges were politically motivated.
Among Utahns, 6 in 10 say the charges against Trump were politically motivated, according to the latest Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics poll. Nearly 35% of voters said the impeachment was not politically motivated and 5% said they didn’t know.
Dan Jones & Associates surveyed 801 registered Utah voters from June 26 to July 4. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.46 percentage points.
Partisan split over Trump charges
The poll shows a strong division between the two political parties. Of the Democrats surveyed, 85% said the impeachment was not politically motivated, while only 8% said it was and 7% said they didn’t know.
Meanwhile, among the Republicans surveyed, three-quarters said the impeachment was politically motivated, while 23% said it was not and just 3% said they didn’t know.
Utahns in the survey who do not identify with either party were more evenly split, with 48% saying the charges against Trump were politically motivated and 43% saying they were not.
Those results are similar to a Deseret News/Hinckley poll in April when Trump was indicted by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for allegedly covering up an affair during Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. At the time, he was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records.
Trump’s support remained despite the charges
The April poll found that among Republican supporters, 31% said the charges would make them more likely to vote for Trump and 41% said no change, while 28% said Trump’s legal troubles will make them they are less likely to support the former. president.
“Did these accusations cause President Trump to lose a lot of supporters? The answer is no, it didn’t,” said Jason Perry, director of the Hinckley Institute for Policy at the University of Utah. “Those people who were with him before are largely with him now, and that just hasn’t changed even with the most recent indictment.”
Earlier this week, Trump’s legal team asked to delay the start of the federal trial over the classified documents, challenging the December 11 start date proposed by special counsel Jack Smith for CNN.
Trump’s lawyers wrote in a filing for the case that there are extraordinary circumstances surrounding the case, as the former president has consistently remained the leading Republican candidate in polls.
“The court is now presiding over an impeachment brought by the administration of a sitting president against his main political rival, himself a leading candidate for President of the United States,” the filing read, according to The New York Times. “Therefore, measured consideration and a timeline that allow for a careful and thorough review of the proceedings leading up to this indictment and the unprecedented legal issues presented herein best serve the interests of the defendants and the public. ”.
Smith’s team said there was no reason to postpone until after the 2024 election, calling Trump’s legal team’s arguments “bordering on frivolity,” according to political.
Trump’s lawyers and Smith’s office are set to appear in court Tuesday to determine how the case will proceed.
trump led to social truth last week to comment on the case, writing, “as the main political opponent of corrupt Joe Biden, it would be my great honor to be indicted and arrested by ailing government ‘thugs’.”
“I’m doing it for our country, to show how evil and sinister a place has become.”
Are Utahns watching Trump’s case closely?
The latest poll also asked Utah voters how closely they are following the news of the charges against Trump, with a plurality, 42% saying something closely.
Meanwhile, 19% say they follow it very closely, 27% say not very closely, and 12% say they don’t follow it at all.
The numbers were similar, and in some cases the same, between Republicans and Democrats.
“I think this is getting mixed up with a lot of noise,” Perry said. “It’s no longer a hot topic that you would think it would be or has been in the past.”
Perry noted that while most voters say the impeachment was politically motivated, “it’s not enough for them to take a close look at the problem.”