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New Polling Backs Biden Ad Focusing On Trump Conviction

President Biden’s campaign had been restrained in attacking Donald Trump's criminal conviction until the campaign said internal polling and focus groups showed the verdict turned off voters. The result, hitting TV sets on Monday was the campaign’s sharpest attack ad yet, calling Trump a “convicted criminal who’s only out for himself.” Biden advisers plan to hammer Trump over the coming weeks — aiming to set up a favorable narrative ahead of next week’s debate and keep Trump’s felony conviction top-of-mind for voters who haven’t yet fully tuned into the election, reports Politico. “We’ve seen in polling since the conviction that the more the conviction is front and center in voters’ attention, the worse it is for Trump,” said a Biden campaign pollster, who said research concluded that Trump’s conviction could effectively be used in a broader depiction of Trump as being self-centered and unwilling to take responsibility for his actions. “Trump has dug his own hole deeper on the convictions,” the pollster said, “and we’re seeing him pay the price for that in the polling.”


Cheering the sharper tone of the ad and Biden's recent remarks, Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.) said she was “glad that the campaign is intensifying the contrast between Biden and Trump,” as “this election goes way beyond policies, it’s about the basics that all Americans can understand — whether you respect the law and if you’re a true public servant or not.” Biden campaign officials cast the ad, part of a $50 million June ad buy in battleground states, as part of an ongoing effort to frame the election around a character contrast between the two candidates. Trump’s felony convictions, they argue, are proof of their larger message that he is out for himself, a theme they’ve hit repeatedly since Trump clinched the nomination this spring. They pointed to the latter half of the ad, when they contrasted Biden as “working” for voters to lower health care costs. A New York Times/Siena College poll found Biden gaining 2 percentage points, narrowing Trump’s lead to 1 point. A Politico/Ipsos poll fund 21 percent of independents said Trump’s conviction made them less likely to support him and that it would be an important factor in how they vote. The Trump campaign pushed back on the ad, arguing that it “essentially admits, again, that the Biden sham trials are about election interference.” Trump pollster Tony Fabrizio said “voters in our key target states have already made up their minds on this trial. Most voters … believe the case is politically motivated.”


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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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