Fourth Trump indictment does little to change public opinion

New ABC News/Ipsos polling finds Georgia indictment attitudes, like others, diverge significantly along partisan lines

The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Mallory Newall Vice President, US, Public Affairs
Get in touch

Half of Americans believe former President Donald Trump should be charged with a crime, and the same number say the latest charges are politically motivated, according to new ABC News/Ipsos polling conducted the day after the announcement of charges in Georgia related to efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in that state. Overall, opinion has not changed from indictment to indictment, and attitudes toward the severity of these charges as well as whether or not Trump should suspend his 2024 presidential campaign, remain driven entirely by partisanship.

Separately, just one in three Americans are confident that the U.S. Department of Justice is handling their investigation of Hunter Biden in a fair and nonpartisan manner. This comes days after Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel in the investigation. Similar to public opinion toward Trump’s indictments, attitudes toward the Hunter Biden investigation remain unchanged from earlier this month.

For previous ABC News/Ipsos indictment polling, visit:

ABC News Graphic
  1. Though roughly two in three Americans view the Georgia charges as serious, fewer believe Trump should be charged with a crime or suspend his campaign. Attitudes on these measures have not changed compared to previous indictments (both federal and in the state of New York).
    • Currently, 63% say these charges are serious, similar to attitudes toward the two federal indictments related to January 6th (65% serious earlier this month) and Trump’s handling of classified documents (61% serious in June).
    • Partisans have not shifted their positions on the severity of these charges; among Republicans, nearly four in ten (38%) view the charges against the former president as serious.
    • Forty-nine percent believe Trump should be charged with a crime in Georgia. This is a slight, but not significant, shift from attitudes earlier this month regarding the federal charges around January 6th (52%).
    • Half of independents and 15% of Republicans believe he should be charged, compared to 88% of Democrats. Both independents and Republicans are more likely to be undecided, with nearly one in five of each saying they are unsure if he should be charged or not.
  2. Roughly half believe Trump should suspend his political campaign, yet the same number believe the charges are politically motivated. While these numbers look similar overall, partisans are extremely divided.
    • Fifty percent say Trump should suspend his campaign (33% say he should not, 17% are unsure). The numbers are virtually identical when asking whether or not the charges are politically motivated: 49% say yes, 35% say no, and 16% don’t know.
    • The vast majority of Democrats want Trump to suspend his campaign (77%), and very few Republicans agree (20%). The inverse is true on whether the charges are politically motivated (81% of Republicans say yes, 21% of Democrats agree).
    • These political splits have been present in every ABC News/Ipsos poll on each indictment, demonstrating how firmly entrenched Democrats and Republicans are in their views toward the various indictment proceedings (and Trump himself).
  3. Separately, even amid new developments in the Hunter Biden investigation, public opinion has not changed in the past few weeks.
    • Just one in three (32%) are very or somewhat confident that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is handling its investigation in a fair and nonpartisan manner.
    • As we see with the Trump indictments, attitudes vary significantly by partisan lines, yet the divisions are less prominent here. For example, only a bare majority of Democrats, 51%, are confident in the DOJ’s handling of the investigation, compared to 13% of Republicans.

About the Study

This ABC News/Ipsos poll was conducted August 15 to 16, 2023, by Ipsos using the probability-based KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 508 adults age 18 or older.

No 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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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. No reminder emails were 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 4.7 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 1.19. 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:

Chris Jackson
Senior Vice President, US
Public Affairs
+1 202 420-2025
[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)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Mallory Newall Vice President, US, Public Affairs