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How Trump’s Hush Money Trial Verdict Could Affect the 2024 Election

History is unfolding as we speak, because the jurors hearing the first-ever criminal trial of a former U.S. president might render their verdict in Donald Trump’s hush money case next week, with potentially huge implications for the 2024 White House race.

Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records to cover up a payment that bought the silence of adult movie star Stormy Daniels right before the 2016 election. Daniels threatened to go public regarding an alleged 2006 personal encounter with Trump, a meeting that he completely denies.

The New York case is widely seen as the least consequential of the four ongoing criminal prosecutions against the former head of state. But this also means that the Republican presidential candidate spent significantly more time in court than campaigning in the last few weeks, bringing a lot of attention to the only case that’s likely to go to trial before the November 5 elections. Here’s how three potential outcomes might impact the presidential campaign:

Trump lies
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If opinion polls show a guilty verdict, this will represent a huge political danger for Trump. One in four Republicans has already declared they will not vote for Trump if he is found guilty in a criminal trial.

In a similar survey, 60% of independents said they wouldn’t vote for Trump if he were convicted of a crime. Republican and Democratic consultants have mixed feelings about the impact of a guilty verdict.

For example, Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster, has his own doubts when it comes to Republicans backing off if Trump gets convicted. However, Ayres added that even if a small number of more moderate Republicans and independents are turned off by a guilty verdict, this might still help Biden in a close election.

Ayres also said that the nature of the New York case, which was brought by a Democratic prosecutor and relies on untested legal strategies, will ultimately help Trump and fellow Republicans frame a guilty verdict as a political hit. “If I were trying to design a court case that would be very easy for Republicans to dismiss as a partisan witch hunt, I would make exactly the case that’s currently going on in New York,” he stated.


Consultants from the wider political spectrum agree on one thing: an acquittal would represent a huge victory for Trump, especially because he has claimed that the trial is a sham political persecution aimed at derailing his presidential bid.

On the campaign trail, the candidate might use a not-guilty verdict in New York to claim the other cases against him have no legal merit, either, as McLaughlin explained. Trump is currently facing federal and state charges in Washington and Georgia in his attempt to overturn his 2020 loss to Biden and federal charges in Florida for mishandling classified documents after leaving the White House in 2021. He also pleaded not guilty in all three cases.


If the 12 jurors in charge of hearing Trump’s case can’t agree on the same verdict, the result will be a hung jury, and the judge will have to declare a mistrial, as legal experts claim. Trump will spin a mistrial as a victory, the political consultants and analysts explained, but without the validation that an acquittal would give him. The trial kept Trump in the news, something he definitely likes, and a mistrial would definitely put an end to that.

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