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CNN: Voters in Swing States ‘Disgusted’ and ‘Tired’ With Trump Trial

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


A CNN correspondent revealed some stunning details about swing state voter attitudes toward former President Donald Trump’s ‘hush money’ trial in Manhattan that he shared on-air on Monday.

Chief national affairs correspondent Jeff Zeleny told a CNN panel that voters in those states have told him that they are “disgusted” with and “tired” of the trial.

According to polling by The New York Times/Siena College released on Monday, Trump holds a lead of 13% among likely voters in Nevada, 9% in Georgia, 6% in Arizona, 3% in Pennsylvania, and 1% in Wisconsin compared to President Joe Biden. Zeleny noted that these polling results suggest there hasn’t been any political backlash for Trump due to his trial thus far. He further observed that voters are currently placing greater emphasis on economic issues.

“This is a reminder … that we have no idea at all, the political fallout from this, if there is any, from this trial,” Zeleny said. “It’s kind of remarkable to think that there wouldn’t be, but if you look at these battleground states that are going to be central to this reelection, the former president is beating the current president outside the margin of error in every state but two, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.”

“We will have to wait and see what this verdict is and how voters are assessing it,” he added. “But as I talk to voters across the country in these battleground states … many of them aren’t paying attention at all and are disgusted and sort of tired with this, but the numbers beyond the horse race are so interesting. The reason that President Biden is having problems, it’s because of young voters, voters of color, and inflation. That is the issue on the minds of voters, not this.”

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According to the New York Times poll, Trump has narrowed the gap with Biden among Black and Hispanic Americans. Biden leads with 70% to 18% among Black voters and 47% to 42% among Hispanic voters in the six swing states.

“So it’s still the economy, stupid?” host Wolf Blitzer asked, clarifying he was referring to the classic line from Bill Clinton’s first campaign rather than calling Zeleny dumb.

“It seems to be. Inflation really is at the heart of so much of this. We’ll see how much this is going to play a part. But as of now, it’s actually helped Donald Trump,” Zeleny responded.

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“It’s not the hush money trial, stupid,” Blitzer quipped.

Bragg’s high-profile case against Trump may have its narrative undermined by testimony given on Monday by Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney of Trump.

Cohen has been a key player in the legal case involving purported hush money payments to Daniels, the porn star who claimed to have met Trump in 2006. The prosecution has depicted the payments thus far as a desperate attempt by Trump to stop damaging information from undermining his 2016 presidential campaign.

Republican Rep. Dan Goldman of New York made headlines this week by noting that Cohen is an admitted liar and perjurer who was sent to prison.

MSNBC host Willie Geist asked Goldman: “Congressman, I’ll ask you to put on your former prosecutor’s hat for just a moment here. What about that connection? That’s the whole ball game right there, that Donald Trump knew that they were falsifying records. Has the prosecution made that case?”

“Well, I think it does remain to be seen, and that is the key. On the one hand, that is the technical legal requirement that they will have to prove. A lot of times in these trials, though, you know, the jury will want to make sure they check all the boxes, but the detailed defense is a tough one to make. I would echo what Claire said — and I have deposed Michael Cohen, I have met with him a number of times to prepare him — this was different testimony than what his demeanor was during the A.G.’s case. This is different than he has been in the past,” Goldman began.

“But the question is not how he is on direct examination. The question is how he is on cross-examination. They were very smart to put him so late in the trial. Because what is happening now is, as he is on direct examination, he’s testifying, and the jury is seeing how what he is saying is consistent with what David Pecker said, with what Stormy Daniels said, with what other witnesses said,” Goldman continued.

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