A new poll commissioned by POLITICO Magazine and conducted by Ipsos, most Americans — including a large number of Republicans, who Donald Trump is courting for his 2024 campaign — believe that the trial in his federal case for mishandling classified documents should occur before the GOP primaries and well before the general election. There are significant hurdles to such a speedy trial, but the survey results, both notable and surprising, could push prosecutors and the judge to move more quickly. Politico commissioned the poll to help determine public sentiment about the case. Roughly half of the respondents believes that Trump committed the crimes alleged against him in both the documents case and the New York City case over falsified business records in connection to the payments to porn star Stormy Daniels. Nearly two-thirds of respondents said that the federal trial should take place before the presidential election next November — a figure that includes nearly half of Republican respondents (46 percent). A lower number, but a still-solid majority, said that the trial should take place before the Republican primaries begin early next year (57 percent of all respondents, including 42 percent of Republican respondents). The findings could bolster the position of federal prosecutors, who have been pushing for a trial date as early as this December. Trump is expected to try to drag out the proceedings for as long as possible. He would likely be able to shut the prosecution down if reelected. The federal statute that governs the setting of trial dates requires judges to account for not only the defendant’s interest but “the best interest of the public” as well. If Trump is convicted, forty three percent said he should go to prison, but most were willing to spare him jail time. Nearly a quarter of respondents said that Trump should incur no punishment at all (22 percent), while 18 percent said he should receive probation and another 17 percent said he should face only a financial penalty.
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