The numerous legal proceedings and the numerous trials which now punctuate the daily life of Donald Trump, including that for fraud within his real estate empire which continued on Monday with the testimony of one of his sons before the courts of New York, place the populist on a minefield.
Indeed, 59% of Americans believe that the ex-president, who aspires to return to the White House in 2024, should not be candidate for the next presidential election if he were “convicted and imprisoned”, reveals a probe launched last October in the United States by the Léger firm.
An opinion which, however, follows the usual ideological fault lines in a politically divided country: 87% of Democratic voters support this statement, while 57% of Republicans ultimately see no problem in supporting a candidate who has been convicted by the courts or who would campaign from a prison, indicates the unpublished survey sent to Devoir.
“It is not surprising to see that Republican support expressed for Donald Trump is not diminishing, despite the publicity surrounding his legal cases,” comments Kathleen Kendall, political communications specialist at the University of Maryland, in an interview. . The media habits of American voters have a lot to do with it. When your main news sources present Donald Trump as unfairly treated by the Biden government and the Justice Department, you find it easier to sympathize with him and, above all, to believe that he is the victim of a political campaign targeting him. »
Last August, another opinion measurement conducted by Léger among 1,002 Americans revealed that 65% of Republicans were still convinced in 2023 that the 2020 elections had been fraudulent and that it was the former star of the reality show which had won the vote, as he has claimed ad nauseam since a poorly digested defeat. This “big lie”, which the populist imposed as an “alternative” reality on his electoral base, contradicts the facts and the numerous counts under judicial supervision, including in swing states under Republican control.
It also places the ex-president facing an upcoming trial in Georgia, where local justice accuses him of trying to steal the results of the election in 2020. The businessman has pleaded not guilty. And a guilty verdict in this case, as in the others, would complicate the populist's political trajectory: during a general election, Trump would then see his support in the voting booth decrease by 11 points, facing Joe Biden, indicates the Light survey.
Currently, the two men are neck and neck in voting intentions, with 45% credited to the Democrat against 42% for the Republican in the lead in his party's primary. A percentage that drops to 31% if Donald Trump were convicted by his country's courts and imprisoned.
A pro-Biden world
Seen from outside the United States, the American presidential race seems to generate mostly positive feelings towards Joe Biden and rather negative ones when it comes to Donald Trump. The ex-president receives the support of only a quarter of citizens surveyed in 21 countries on the next American presidential election by the Worldwide Independent Network (WIN), of which Léger is a member, while 43% prefer the candidacy of Joe Biden .
However, it is in Turkey (44% support) and Israel (45%) that the American billionaire seems most appreciated in the world, two countries where voters have brought populists with autocratic leanings to power in recent years . In contrast, in Finland, the former American president received only 8% approval among those surveyed.
If Canadians hypothetically had the right to vote in the United States, 59% would vote for Joe Biden compared to 17% for Donald Trump, this global measure of opinion indicates.
Ironically, public confidence in the American electoral system is expressed more strongly by inside the United States than from outside: 50% of Americans believe the current framework is capable of delivering free and fair elections, compared to 38% of people surveyed elsewhere in the world. And the skepticism of non-Americans regarding the electoral system is expressed very strongly in several countries around the world, including France, where 50% of people doubt its possibility of fairly representing the democratic choice expressed by citizens. Same in Turkey (50%), Canada (48%) and the United Kingdom (47%), WIN data shows.