A new CBS/YouGov poll about the indictments against Donald Trump shows a huge difference between Democrats and Republicans. Democrats see them as upholding the rule of law. Republicans see them as an attempt to stop Trump's campaign. Here are the data:
What stands out, of course, is that 88% of Democrats but only 28% of Republicans think the indictments are about upholding the rule of law. In contrast, 31% of Democrats and 86% of Republicans think it is about stopping Trump. This despite AG Merrick Garland handing the show to a respected independent prosecutor and staying out of the whole thing. Even more disheartening is that one-fith of Democrats and a majority of Republicans think the indictments are an attack on "people like you." This is what Trump says all the time and most Republicans and some Democrats have internalized it. Are they afraid that if they try to overturn an election, the DoJ will come after them? If they did, the DoJ probably would, but they can prevent that by not trying to overturn an election. It's not that hard. Every day millions of people don't try to overturn an election. Given data like these, we don't think convictions in any of the cases will change many Republicans' views or votes. Of course, in a close election, 2-3% of Republicans changing their minds in three or four key states could matter a lot.
Also relevant is what people are concerned about when considering the indictments. Here are those data:
This question shows that almost no Republicans believe that Trump tried to overturn the election despite massive evidence and testimony from numerous Republican officials (e.g., Brad Raffensperger) saying that is exactly what he did. Also, 91% think the indictments are politically motivated, despite Garland trying to put as much distance as he could between himself and the indictments. There is probably nothing he could have done to convince Republicans that the investigation was fair. This does not speak well for the ability of half the country to distinguish truth from lies. (V)