Why The Trump Guilty Verdict Changes Everything In 2024

Alvin Bragg

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg

This is the first day of the rest of the campaign for president. Donald Trump’s conviction on all 34 counts at his trial in Manhattan changes everything.

A PBS/Marist poll earlier this month found that 55 percent of Americans said they were paying “little to no attention” to the Trump trial. Those days are over. There will be no such thing as an uninformed voter from this day forward. Everyone, with the possible exception of a cave explorer spelunking a thousand feet down at the bottom of Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, will hear the news that a jury of 12 citizens of New York City found Trump guilty of falsifying business records in order to conceal a sexual liaison with Stormy Daniels.

But now that Trump has been found guilty, Americans appear prepared for this verdict. Even the New York Times/Sienna poll in April found that nationally, 46 percent of Americans said that Trump should be found guilty, with only 37 percent saying he should be found innocent. Today’s verdict gives new meaning to those numbers, confirming that a slice of the American public that included both Democrats and Republicans felt that what happened to Trump today should happen – not was likely to happen, but should happen. According to RealClearPolitics poll tracker numbers released this week, Trump leads Biden by only 1.1 points.

A Quinnipiac poll released a week ago found that 68 percent of Trump voters said that a conviction would not change the way they vote in November. A PBS News Hour/Marist poll conducted last week found that nationally 67 percent of registered voters said that a Trump conviction would not affect their vote.

That leaves 33 percent of all voters, including 32 percent of Republican voters, saying that a conviction could affect their votes. The poll found what they called “a narrow slice” of independent voters – 11 percent – saying they would be less likely to vote for Trump if he was convicted.

I think we know what effect Trump’s felony conviction will have on Democrats, but looking at the polls, the whole game changes from here on out.

In his summation of the case against Trump on Tuesday, prosecutor Joshua Steinglass told the jury that the scheme to buy Stormy Daniels’ silence “could very well be what got President Trump elected” in 2016.

Eight years later, the script is flipped: Trump’s conviction could very well be what gets Biden elected in 2024.

Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist, and screenwriter. He has covered Watergate, the Stonewall riots, and wars in Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels. You can subscribe to his daily columns at luciantruscott.substack.com and follow him on Twitter @LucianKTruscott and on Facebook at Lucian K. Truscott IV.

Please consider subscribing to Lucian Truscott Newsletter, from which this is reprinted with permission.

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