By 46% to 26%, Americans believe former President Trump fraudulently inflated property values

Linley SandersData Journalist
September 30, 2022, 1:16 PM GMT+0

New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a lawsuit against former President Donald Trump and the Trump Organization for fraudulently inflating the value of properties in New York to obtain favorable loans and tax benefits. Trump's adult children — Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, and Donald Trump Jr. — and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, are also named in the lawsuit regarding their work for the Trump Organization.

The latest Economist/YouGov poll finds that three in five Americans (60%) say it's a very or somewhat common practice for U.S. businesses to inflate the value of properties to obtain favorable loans and tax benefits — with 60% of Democrats and 66% of Republicans in agreement that companies commonly do this.

When asked specifically about whether Trump inflated his property values for his own benefit, 46% of Americans say they believe that he did. About one-quarter (26%) say he did not, and 28% are unsure. Nearly three-quarters of Democrats (74%) say Trump did, compared to 17% of Republicans. Half of Republicans say he did not.

Americans are split on whether Attorney General James is conducting a legitimate investigation or — as Trump has stated on social media in recent days — a witch hunt. For 69% of Democrats, James's actions look more like a legitimate investigation, while just 15% say witch hunt; only 10% of Republicans see a legitimate investigation while 75% see a witch hunt.

The New York Attorney General’s lawsuit involves not just President Trump, but three of his children and his son-in-law, as well. All, including President Trump himself, are seen negatively by more of the overall public than see them positively. But there is no indication that opinion of them is more negative now than it has been in past polls. Half the public has no opinion of James, and the rest are closely divided when it comes to what they think of her.

– Taylor Orth, Oana Dumitru, and Carl Bialik contributed to this article

This poll was conducted on September 24 - 27, 2022 among 1,500 U.S. adult citizens. Explore more on the methodology and data for this Economist/YouGov poll.

Image: Getty Images

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