Saturday, February 03, 2024


Philip Bump of The Washington Post notes that Republicans really don't know much about Donald Trump's legal troubles, according to the polls:
New polling conducted by YouGov shows that only a bit over half of the country on average is aware of the various legal challenges Trump faces....

YouGov presented American adults with eight legal scenarios to judge the extent of the public’s awareness....

At most, 45 percent of Republicans said they knew about legal issues: specifically, the documents case and his being found liable for assaulting the writer E. Jean Carroll. Only a quarter knew about the value-inflation suit, and only 4 in 10 knew about the criminal charges in Manhattan related to the hush money payments to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels....

On average, only 4 in 10 Republicans said they were aware of the ... legal issues.
That's bad -- and as Bump notes, the right-wing media deserves some of the blame:
In May, The Washington Post looked at the extent to which Fox News covered the documents and Daniels cases relative to other cable-news channels. It did so much less frequently.
But the overall numbers don't suggest universal awareness among any group, even Democrats. According to poll's crosstabs, the legal case with the highest awareness among Democrats is the Stormy Daniels hush-money case, at 74%. The lowest awareness number among Democrats is 69%, on the fact that Trump has "been charged with attempting to obstruct the certification of a presidential election."

At a time when Biden needs every vote he can get, and seems to be shedding votes among core members of his coalition, isn't it a problem that a quarter of party members don't even know about these cases?

Biden needs a strong youth vote, yet the highest awareness of Trump's legal issues among 18- to 29-year-olds is 52%, on the charge of trying to overturn the election results. Alarmingly, only 35% of poll respondents in this age group are aware that Trump has "been found liable for sexually assaulting and defaming writer E. Jean Carroll."

Biden needs independent voters as well, but in this group, awareness of Trump's legal cases is at 53% or lower on all but one charge.

My assumption is that the Biden campaign is run by highly educated people who have a lifelong obsession with the news, and all of whose friends, even if they're not in politics, are also obseesed with the news. I think professional Democrats routinely assume that awareness of news that casts Democrats in a good light or Republicans in a bad light just happens, and doesn't require party or campaign intervention.

Democrats need to tell their potential voters that Donald Trump is a terrible person who's committed many crimes. They need to point out what those crimes are and what the legal system has said about those crimes. They need to do this even though they believe everyone already knows all this -- because millions of voters don't.

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