After Trump’s felony conviction, Biden leads for the first time in months — but not by much

Following former President Donald Trump’s felony conviction last week for falsifying business records to hide a money payment to a porn star, President Biden (46%) now leads his Republican rival (44%) in a two-way race for the position. White House for the first time since October 2023, according to a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll.

The last six Yahoo News/YouGov surveys have shown Trump leading Biden among registered voters in a head-to-head or tie. At 46%, Biden’s current level of support is his highest since August 2023.

Yet even accounting for Trump’s felony conviction, the 2024 vote remains so close that Biden’s narrow lead disappears once voters are offered third-party options on a follow-up question.

In this scenario, Trump loses only one point of support, falling to 43%; Biden (42%) loses 4 points and falls behind.

Meanwhile, 9% of voters opt for “another candidate” — then, when presented with specific names to choose from, they mostly choose independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (4%), followed by l independent Cornel West, libertarian Chase Oliver and Green. Party candidate Jill Stein at 1% each.

The survey of 1,854 U.S. adults, conducted June 3-6, highlights the fine margins that will likely decide this year’s Trump-Biden rematch.

The problem for Biden is not that Americans believe Trump is innocent. In fact, far more people – a majority of 51% – think the New York jury returned the “right verdict” in the Trump financial secrecy case than think the verdict was “wrong.” (30 %). Likewise, more Americans than ever (54%) now believe Trump committed the crime for which he was on trial.

Overall, 52% believe Trump’s conviction was “a fair outcome intended to hold him accountable for his own actions”; only 35% believe it is an “unjust result intended to harm him politically”. And 49% think Trump was “more of a criminal” during the trial, compared to 34% who consider him “more of a victim.”

But Trump’s conviction hasn’t really changed the way Americans perceive him. For example:

● 42% of Americans now rate Trump favorably, and 53% rate him unfavorably – a bit better than his score of 41 to 55% last month, before the conviction.

● 40% of Americans now consider Trump “fit to serve another term as president” and 47% do not – essentially identical to his 41% to 46% split in May.

● And 44% of Americans now say the criminal charges against Trump are a “big problem” when it comes to his fitness to be president – ​​unchanged from their figure in April, the last time the question was asked.

In other words, public opinion of Trump is so entrenched at this point that not even his new status as America’s first “criminal president” can change it. And this dynamic is especially true among those least likely to accept unflattering information about the former president: his supporters.

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