Here’s what you should know about Donald Trump’s conviction in his hush money trial

Donald Trump is convicted of a crime. Here’s how this impacts the 2024 presidential race

NEW YORK: After being convicted of 34 felonies, Donald Trump cannot own guns, hold public office or even vote in many states.

But in 158 days, voters across America will decide whether he will return to the White House to serve another four years as the nation’s president.
Trump’s conviction in Thursday’s secret trial in New York is a stunning development in an already unorthodox presidential election with profound implications for the justice system and perhaps American democracy itself.
But in a deeply divided America, it’s unclear whether Trump’s status as a person convicted of a crime will have any impact on the 2024 election. Trump remains in a competitive position against President Joe Biden this fall, even as the former president Republican now faces the prospect of a prison sentence ahead of the November election.
At least in the short term, there were immediate signs that the unanimous guilty verdict was helping to unify the disparate factions of the Republican Party, as Republican officials in Congress and in state capitals across the country rallied in support of their alleged presidential candidate, while his campaign expected to benefit. by a wave of new fundraising dollars.
Standing outside the courtroom, Trump described the verdict as the result of a “rigged and shameful trial.”
“The real verdict will be rendered by the people on November 5,” Trump said, referring to Election Day. “This thing is still a long way off.”
The immediate reaction from elected Democrats was weak in comparison, even as Biden’s campaign issued a fundraising appeal minutes after the verdict, suggesting that the fundamentals of the election had not changed.
“We are thrilled that justice has finally been served,” the campaign wrote. “But this convicted felon can STILL win back the presidency this fall without a huge groundswell of Democratic support.”
Strategists expect a moderate impact
There have been some surveys of the impact of a guilty verdict, although such hypothetical scenarios are notoriously difficult to predict.
A recent ABC News/Ipsos poll found that just 4% of Trump supporters said they would withdraw their support if he were convicted of a crime, although an additional 16% said they would reconsider.
On the eve of the verdict, the Trump campaign released a memo from its campaign team suggesting that the impact of the trial is “already baked into the race in the target states.”
Trump campaign consultants argued that the case would help them motivate their key supporters. WinRed, the fundraising platform used by the campaign, received so many donations that it collapsed. Aides worked quickly to create a backup platform to collect the money flowing in.
Trump went to a fundraising event planned ahead of the verdict Thursday night, according to a person familiar with his plans who was not authorized to speak publicly.
His two senior campaign advisers, Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita, were not with him in New York, but in Palm Beach, Florida, where the campaign is based.
And while it may take days or weeks to know for sure, Trump’s critics in both parties generally agree that there may not be much political fallout, although some hoped the convictions would have at least a marginal impact in what will likely be a close battle. election.
Sarah Longwell, founder of Republican Voters Against Trump, which regularly conducts focus groups, suggested that the guilty verdict could help Biden on the margins by pushing so-called “double haters” – a term used to describe voters who dislike Trump and Biden – away from Briscola.
But more than anything, it suggested that voters simply didn’t follow the process very closely.
“The best thing about the trial being over is that it’s over,” Longwell said, describing the courtroom proceedings as a distraction from more serious campaign issues. “There will now be an opportunity to focus the narrative on who Trump is and what a second Trump term would look like.”
Republican pollster Neil Newhouse predicted the trial could ultimately have little impact in a lightning-fast news environment with several months before the first polls open.
“Voters have short memories and even shorter attention spans,” Newhouse said. “Just as the former president’s two impeachments did little to weaken Trump’s support, this guilty verdict could be overshadowed within three weeks of the first presidential debate.”
A plan to campaign after the sentence
The judge set sentencing for July 11, just four days before the scheduled start of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee.
Each of the charges of falsifying business records carries up to four years behind bars, although prosecutors have not said whether they plan to seek prison time. Nor is it clear whether the judge – who earlier in the trial had warned of prison for violations of the gag order – would impose that punishment even if requested.
Trump will be able to vote in Florida, where he took up residence in 2019, if he is not in prison on Election Day.
And detention would not prevent Trump from continuing his bid for the White House.
Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump, who was with the former president in court this week and also serves as co-chair of the Republican National Committee, said in an interview with Fox News Channel before the verdict that Trump will still seek to campaign for president if convicted.
If Trump receives a home confinement sentence, she said, “We’ll have him participate in virtual rallies and campaign events, if that’s the case. And we will have to play the hand we are dealt.”
For now there are no campaign rallies on the calendar, although Trump is expected to organize fundraisers next week.
Biden himself has yet to intervene.
He was spending the night at his family’s beach house in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, after celebrating the anniversary of his son Beau’s death that morning at church.
Voters are grappling with the verdict
Texas voter Steven Guarner, a 24-year-old nurse, said he is undecided about who he will vote for in the next election.
Guarner, an independent, said the verdict will be a deciding factor for him once he studies the details of the trial. However, he did not think this would influence the many voters who have already decided on the Biden-Trump rematch.
“I think his base is the type who might not care much or might agree with him about the justice system,” Guarner said of Trump.
Indeed, Republican officials from Florida to Wisconsin to Arkansas and Illinois condemned the verdict as a miscarriage of justice by what they described as a politically motivated blue state prosecutor and jury.
Brian Schimming, chairman of the Wisconsin Republican Party’s executive committee, called the case against Trump a “farce” and a “national embarrassment.”
“There was no justice in New York today,” Schimming charged.
And Michael Perez Ruiz, a 47-year-old who was ordering food shortly after the verdict at Miami’s Versailles restaurant, an icon of the city’s Republican-leaning Cuban-American community, said he would continue to stand by Trump.
“I would vote for him 20 times,” Perez Ruiz said.

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