American opinion on Trump's indictment in Georgia

Taylor OrthDirector of Survey Data Journalism
August 23, 2023, 4:15 PM GMT+0

Donald Trump was recently criminally indicted for the fourth time, this time in Georgia. The charges include racketeering and involve alleged attempts to overturn the results of Georgia's 2020 presidential election. A new poll by the Economist/YouGov finds that half of Americans (51%) strongly or somewhat approve of the charges against Trump in this case — including 84% of Democrats and 16% of Republicans — while 36% strongly or somewhat disapprove.

Americans are divided on whether Trump can get a fair trial in Atlanta: 39% say yes and 36% say no. Most Democrats (67%) say he can get a fair trial; most Republicans (69%) say he can't. A similar share of Americans (40%) said earlier this month that he could get a fair trial in Washington, D.C. when asked about his federal election case.

Fewer than half of Americans are familiar with those bringing charges against Trump. The most well-known is independent special counsel Jack Smith, who is responsible for overseeing the federal elections case and classified documents case: 26% have a favorable view of Smith, 20% are unfavorable, and 53% say they don't know. Fani Willis — the district attorney of Fulton County, Georgia who is prosecuting Trump for racketeering among other election-related crimes — is viewed favorably by 22%, unfavorably by 18%, and is unknown by 60%. More have an unfavorable (22%) than a favorable view (20%) of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who is leading the charges against Trump related to alleged hush money payments made during the 2016 election.

The poll also asked about three of Trump's co-defendants in the Georgia case: Rudy Giuliani, Mark Meadows, and John Eastman. Of these, Giuliani is by far the most widely known, though he is viewed more negatively (51% unfavorable) than positively (27% favorable). Meadows, Trump's former chief of staff, is known to about half the public, with 33% viewing him unfavorably and 17% viewing him favorably. Eastman, an attorney who provided advice to Trump, is relatively unknown: 25% view him unfavorably, and 9% view him favorably.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger — both of whom interacted with Trump in his efforts to identify fraud in Georgia — are also unfamiliar to most Americans. Raffensperger is viewed slightly more positively (19%) than negatively (16%), while Kemp is viewed more negatively (25%) than positively (19%).

Most of the figures involved in the Georgia election case are far more well-known to Democrats than Republicans. For instance, twice as many Democrats as Republicans have an opinion of Eastman (51% vs. 25%), and many more have heard about Raffensperger (48% vs. 28%).

Democrats are also far more likely than Republicans to hold positive views of the people in charge of investigating Trump, including Willis, Smith, and Bragg. They are less likely than Republicans to hold positive views of Trump himself, as well as his co-defendants in Georgia.

— Kathy Frankovic, Matthew Smith, and Carl Bialik contributed to this article

See the toplines and crosstabs from the Economist/YouGov poll conducted on August 19 - 22, 2023 among 1,500 U.S. adult citizens.

Methodology: Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel using sample matching. A random sample (stratified by gender, age, race, education, geographic region, and voter registration) was selected from the 2019 American Community Survey. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, education, 2020 election turnout and presidential vote, baseline party identification, and current voter registration status. Demographic weighting targets come from the 2019 American Community Survey. Baseline party identification is the respondent’s most recent answer given prior to November 1, 2022, and is weighted to the estimated distribution at that time (33% Democratic, 31% Republican). The margin of error for the overall sample is approximately 3%.

Image: Getty

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