Most Americans view latest Trump charges as serious

ABC News/Ipsos poll shows nearly half believe former President Donald Trump should suspend his campaign after most recent indictment; views similar to April indictment

The author(s)
  • Mallory Newall Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Sarah Feldman Senior Data Journalist, US, Public Affairs
  • Ryan Tully Director, USPA, KnowledgePanel Plus
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Washington DC, June 11, 2023 -- In the days immediately following a federal indictment against Donald Trump related to his handling of classified documents, a new ABC News/Ipsos poll finds that three in five Americans view these charges as serious. This represents a shift in public opinion from the perceived level of severity in April, where about half viewed Trump's indictment in New York as serious. This is due to shifting opinions from Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike – though the biggest movement has been among Republicans. The public remains more split on whether Trump should suspend his presidential campaign and if he should be charged with a crime. Though, on both items, more believe he should suspend his presidential campaign and be charged than think he should not. At the same, more also believe these charges are politically motivated than not. On these measures, views remain unchanged from April’s indictment on charges related to hush money payments. Past ABC News/Ipsos polls on former President Trump's New York indictments can be found here.

More think this indictment is serious, but no change in the share of people who think Trump should be charged with a crime in each.

1. Americans on both sides of the political aisle view these charges as more serious compared to April’s indictment. Republicans, in particular, view the federal indictment as more serious than the New York indictment two months ago.  

  • Overall, 61% say the federal charges related to Trump’s handling of classified documents are serious, compared to 52% answering the same about Trump’s April indictment in New York on charges related to a payment of hush money.
  • This movement is driven by Americans across the political spectrum. Notably, however, the biggest increase is among Republicans. Now, 38% of Republicans view the federal indictment charges as serious, compared to 21% in April. Democrats have shifted slightly (7 percentage point increase), though the vast majority believed April’s charges to be serious (91% now, 84% then). Nearly two in three independents (63%) view these charges as serious, compared to 54% in April.

2. While perceptions have shifted on the severity of this indictment compared to the last, attitudes are stable on whether Trump should be charged for a crime, whether the charges are politically motivated, and whether or not he should suspend his campaign.

  • More believe that the former president should be charged in this case (48%) and suspend his campaign (46%) than believe he should not (35%, 38%, respectively).
  • Overall, roughly half believe Trump should be charged, and should suspend his campaign (48% and 46%, respectively). These views are unchanged from April, where 50% said Trump should be charged and 48% agreed he should suspend his campaign.
  • On the other hand, 47% view the latest charges as being politically motivated, also unchanged from April (50%). These views are mainly driven by Republicans, while Democrats want to see Trump charged and to suspend his campaign. Interestingly, independents are split, with roughly half agreeing with all three sentiments.
  • Still, the share of Americans who believe these charges are politically motivated (47%) outnumber those who do not (37%).

About the Study

This ABC News/Ipsos poll was conducted June 9 to 10, 2023, by Ipsos using the probability-based KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 910 adults age 18 or older with oversamples among Republican respondents to yield 411 adults.

Two respondents were removed from the final data for refusing all of the survey items.

The survey was conducted using KnowledgePanel, the largest and most well-established online probability-based panel that is representative of the adult US population. Our recruitment process employs a scientifically developed addressed-based sampling methodology using the latest Delivery Sequence File of the USPS – a database with full coverage of all delivery points in the US. Households invited to join the panel are randomly selected from all available households in the U.S. Persons in the sampled households are invited to join and participate in the panel. Those selected who do not already have internet access are provided a tablet and internet connection at no cost to the panel member. Those who join the panel and who are selected to participate in a survey are sent a unique password-protected log-in used to complete surveys online. As a result of our recruitment and sampling methodologies, samples from KnowledgePanel cover all households regardless of their phone or internet status and findings can be reported with a margin of sampling error and projected to the general population. KnowledgePanel members receive a per survey incentive, usually the equivalent of $1 (though for some it is $2) in points, that can be redeemed for cash or prizes. No prenotification email for this study was sent prior to field. Panelists receive a unique login to the survey and are only able to complete it one time. One reminder email was sent for this study.

The study was conducted in both English and Spanish. The data were weighted to adjust for gender by age, race/ethnicity, education, Census region, metropolitan status, household income, and party identification. The demographic benchmarks came from 2022 Current Population Survey (CPS) from the US Census Bureau. Party ID benchmarks are from recent ABC News/Washington Post telephone polls. The weighting categories were as follows:

  • Gender (Male, Female) by Age (18–29, 30–44, 45–59, and 60+)
  • Race/Hispanic Ethnicity (White Non-Hispanic, Black Non-Hispanic, Other or 2+ Races Non-Hispanic, Hispanic)
  • Education (High School graduate or less, Some College, Bachelor and beyond)
  • Census Region (Northeast, Midwest, South, West)
  • Metropolitan status (Metro, non-Metro)
  • Household Income (Under $25,000, $25,000-$49,999, $50,000-$74,999, $75,000-$99,999, $100,000-$149,999, $150,000+)
  • Party ID (Democrat, Republican, Independent, Something else)

The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults. The margin of sampling error takes into account the design effect, which was 1.30. The margin of sampling error is higher and varies for results based on sub-samples. Sampling error is only one potential source of error. There may be other unmeasured non-sampling error in this or any poll. In our reporting of the findings, percentage points are rounded off to the nearest whole number. As a result, percentages in a given table column may total slightly higher or lower than 100%. In questions that permit multiple responses, columns may total substantially more than 100%, depending on the number of different responses offered by each respondent.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Mallory Newall
Vice President, US
Public Affairs
+1 202 420-2014
[email protected]

About Ipsos

Ipsos is one of the largest market research and polling companies globally, operating in 90 markets and employing over 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP

The author(s)
  • Mallory Newall Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Sarah Feldman Senior Data Journalist, US, Public Affairs
  • Ryan Tully Director, USPA, KnowledgePanel Plus