Washington, DC, June 22, 2023 – A new Reuters/Ipsos survey finds that half of Americans believe that Hunter Biden is receiving favorable treatment from prosecutors because he is President Joe Biden's son. The same poll also finds that most do not believe the charges against Hunter Biden are politically motivated, but a majority believe former President Trump's criminal indictments are politically motivated. Perceptions of Hunter Biden's legal issues are having little impact on President Joe Biden's presidential bid, with most saying the charges do not impact their intent to vote for or against Joe Biden for president in 2024.
About two in five Americans say they have heard a great deal or a fair amount about Hunter Biden's plea deal concerning his failure to pay taxes (41%) and about the federal investigation into Hunter Biden's illegal possession of firearms (40%). Most Americans say it is believable that Hunter Biden did not pay taxes in an effort to hide his income (77%), including 66% of Democrats, 88% of Republicans and 80% of independents. About half of Americans say that Hunter Biden's legal troubles are independent of and unrelated to Joe Biden's service as president (51%). Democrats (73%) are much more likely to say this than Republicans (32%) and independents (52%).
Half of Americans also believe Hunter Biden is receiving favorable treatment from U.S. prosecutors because he is President Joe Biden's son (50%). Republicans (75%) are much more likely to say this than Democrats (33%) or independents (42%). Just one third of Americans believe that the indictment of Hunter Biden is politically motivated (34%) compared to 51% of Americans who say this about former President Trump's criminal indictments. Republicans overwhelmingly believe that Trump's legal troubles are politically motivated (79%) compared to just 28% of Republicans who think Hunter Biden's charges are politically motivated. Democrats are more likely to say that Hunter Biden's charges are politically motivated (45%) than Trump's indictments (30%), but the disparity is not as great among Democrats as it is with Republicans. Fifty-eight percent of Americans say that Hunter Biden's plea agreement has no impact on their likelihood to vote for Joe Biden for president in 2024.
About the Study
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between June 20-21, 2023 on behalf of Thomson Reuters. For this survey, a sample of 1,004 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The sample also includes 431 Democrats, 343 Republicans, and 141 independents.
The sample was randomly drawn from Ipsos’ online panel, partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing a sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2022 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Post hoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, education, and political party affiliation.
Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online non-probability polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=1,004, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=+/-5.3 percentage points).
The poll also has a credibility interval of plus or minus 5.8 percentage points for Democrats, plus or minus 6.5 percentage points for Republicans, and plus or minus 10.1 percentage points for independents.
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