Sunday, May 19, 2024

A conviction can cost Trump his vote, some Republican support: Analysis


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Washington, April 28: A conviction for former President Donald Trump on any of the 91 criminal charges he is facing across four separate cases will not prevent him from running for the White House but it will cost him the support of a third of his own Republican party voters and Independents, according to polls, and deprive him of his own vote.

Trump is currently on trial in Manhattan in a case of falsification of business records in regard to hush-money he allegedly paid an adult porn star in 2016 for not going public with their affair.

He is facing 34 charges in the case, each of which carries the punishment of four years in jail. But a conviction will not land him in prison immediately as he will be able to appeal it in the appellate court and eventually the Supreme Court.

The other three cases have not gone on trial yet.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll in February found that while the majority of Americans – 55 per cent – will not vote for Trump if he is either convicted or is in jail, a third of Republicans – 32 per cent – said they won’t, and 24 per cent said they were not sure yet of what they will do.

A vast majority of Democrats – 90% – said they won’t vote for him if he was convicted or jailed.

Another poll by Ipsos, done with Politico magazine in Month, found that a third of Independent voters said they would be less likely to support Trump if he were to be convicted in the Justice Department’s case against him for trying to subvert the 2020 election through the January 6 insurrection and the Manhattan case of falsifying business records.

Independent voters are critical in determining the electoral outcomes in the handful of swing states that decide the presidential election every cycle.

The poll did not cover views about the two other cases, mishandling of classified documents and trying to overturn the 2020 vote count in Georgia.

A conviction would not, however, stop him from running. The US Constitution only lays down three qualification rules for running for President: 35 years of age, a natural-born citizen, and a resident of the US for 14 years.

There are no rules on criminals and felons, and although some states have barred felons from running, these rules do not apply to elections for federal offices. But a conviction will take away his vote in Florida, where he lives.

People convicted of a felony are disenfranchised by Florida state law till the completion of the jail sentence or payment of a fine. Felons can, however, apply for a waiver from the Governor.

He could, however, switch to New York state where he has lived most of his life to keep his vote because of the more permissive rules, which allow felons to vote during parole or probation.

But if he is imprisoned, he will lose his vote. Only the states of Vermont, Maine, and Washington DC allow felons to vote.

The four cases against Trump

Falsification of business records, Manhattan, New York: Trump faces 34 charges of falsifying records to pay Stormy Daniels, an adult film star, to keep quiet about an affair they had in 2005 (he has denied the affair). The money was paid to Daniels by Michael Cohen, a one-time fixer for Trump, and he was later reimbursed as legal fees.

Mishandling of classified documents: The US Justice Department has charged Trump with 40 counts for carrying away classified documents from the White House at the end of his term. He had held on to them despite requests from the National Archives, which is the custodian of all presidential records. President Joe Biden was also found later to have carried away classified documents after his two terms as Vice President in 2016.

January 6 efforts to overturn 2020 presidential election: The US Justice Department has also charged Trump with four counts for instigating supporters to attack the US Capitol, home to the US Congress, to stop a joint sitting of the two chambers to prevent the certification of Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election.

Georgia state efforts to overturn 2020 vote count: The former President faces 13 counts of conspiring with his accomplices over the vote count in the state to overturn his defeat to Biden into victory.



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