A slight majority of Americans say that former President Donald Trump‘s recent criminal indictment in New York should disqualify him from ever seeking the presidency again, according to the results of a new poll.
Trump, the first sitting or former president in U.S. history to face a criminal indictment, was charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records when he was arraigned in Manhattan on Tuesday. The former president pleaded not guilty to all of the charges, which he has claimed are part of a politically motivated “witch hunt” instigated by the Democratic Party.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Thursday found that 51 percent of all respondents, including 18 percent of Republicans, think that the charges “should disqualify Trump from again running for president.”
However, the charges appear to have improved the former president’s chances in the 2024 GOP primary, with 58 percent of Republicans saying Trump is their preferred choice—a 10-point increase over the 48 percent who preferred him in a poll released on Monday.
The poll also found that a slight minority, 49 percent, felt that prosecutors were “right” to pursue the charges.
A 73 percent majority, including 55 percent of Republicans, said that they believed Trump did arrange hush money payments to silence porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.
The poll was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday among 1,004 U.S. adults. The poll’s credibility interval, a measure similar to a margin of error, was 3.8 percent among all respondents.
A poll released by CNN one day before the former president was arrested found that 60 percent of Americans approved of his indictment. Republican Representative Lauren Boebert, a Trump loyalist, insisted that the poll was “fake.”
Trump has a long history of dismissing CNN as “fake news.” He has made similar claims about polls that are less than favorable toward him, while repeatedly boosting flattering polls.
Last month, the former president was mocked after touting on Truth Social a flattering but non-scientific poll conducted by the right-wing Twitter troll account @catturd2.
While some may believe that Trump’s legal troubles should disqualify him from seeking the presidency, the charges do not legally prohibit a run for the White House. Even a conviction in New York would have no bearing on the former president’s eligibility for office.
The Constitution only requires presidents to be U.S.-born citizens who are 35 years or older, with the only caveat being the 14th Amendment’s ban on those who “engaged in insurrection or rebellion.”
As Trump may yet face federal charges involving his actions during the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, some experts have suggested a federal conviction could disqualify him, although there would be no such precedent.
Newsweek has reached out via email to the office of Trump for comment.