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Most believe Trump probably guilty of crime as his NYC trial comes to an end, CBS News poll finds

"Hush money" case poll: Most say Trump guilty
Most believe Trump guilty in "hush money" case, CBS News poll finds 02:21

As Donald Trump's trial in New York City nears closing arguments, most Americans believe he is guilty of a crime in this case. But they are less sure what the jury will do after it deliberates next week.

Fifty-six percent — a majority — say Trump is definitely or probably guilty of a crime in this case, in which he has been charged with falsifying business records to hide a "hush money" payment and influence the 2016 election.

Opinions are highly partisan, with nearly all Democrats believing Trump is guilty and about eight in 10 Republicans saying the opposite. Republicans are less certain in their views. While three in four Democrats say he is "definitely" guilty, only half of Republicans say he is "definitely" not.

The public is more split on what they think the jury will decide, with about half expecting jurors to find Trump guilty and half saying the opposite. And views on both sides are far from certain. For example, far more say jurors will "probably" convict Trump than "definitely" convict him.

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If people believe Trump's guilty, they tend to believe the jury will convict him. And vice versa for those who believe he isn't guilty of a crime. But about a third in each group expect the jury to decide the opposite of what they themselves believe.

Overall, about three quarters of Americans report having heard or read at least some about the trial. And those who say they have heard "a lot" about it are the most polarized in their views — they are likelier to identify as strong partisans and express more confidence in Trump's guilt or innocence, potentially blunting the impact of a verdict on the public's views.  

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This CBS News/YouGov survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 1,402 U.S. adult residents interviewed between May 14-21, 2024. The data includes an oversample in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The sample was weighted by gender, age, race, and education, based on the U.S. Census American Community Survey and Current Population Survey, as well as past vote. The margin of error is ±4.4 points.

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