President Donald Trump portrait smiling at the crowd during a campaign rally for Congressman Lou Barletta held at the Mohegan Sun Arena. (Evan El-Amin via Shutterstock) Credit: Evan El-Amin via Shutterstock

Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe new federal charges against former President Donald Trump and his handling of classified documents as serious, according to a new poll from Quinnipiac University. 

Sixty-two percent said the charges are politically motivated, but still just over half of Americans believe Trump should be prosecuted. 

“From the seriousness of the indictment, to the possible national peril posed by exposure of classified documents, to the way Trump has responded, Americans think Trump comes up short and they want to know more from him,” Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy said. “That said, a majority say it’s all just politics.” 

Quinnipiaic conducted the poll of 1,776 adults from June 15-19, meaning adults 18 and older were asked for their opinions days after Trump was arraigned in federal court on 37 charges related to his handling of classified documents. 

The former president, and a frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nominee, is accused of allegedly keeping classified documents after he left office, refusing to turn them over and obstructing investigators. 

According to the poll, 45% of respondents said the charges are very serious and another 20% viewed them as somewhat serious. The other 29% said the case is not serious. 

Not surprisingly, Democrats viewed the charges negatively with 75% saying the case against Trump was very serious. 

Republicans were more divided on the issue: 39% said the charges were very or somewhat serious, while 53% said they were not too serious or not at all serious. 

Most Republicans, 82%, don’t think Trump should be prosecuted, but 91% of Democrats and 51% of Independents disagree. 

Locally, Connecticut Republicans said the federal case is Trump’s to handle. Connecticut GOP Chairman Ben Proto said his party is focused on upcoming municipal elections. 

“They’re legitimate issues, and they’re serious issues and they’re serious charges that he has to deal with,” Proto said, also noting President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, has agreed to plead guilty to tax evasion to settle his own legal issues. 

State Democratic Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo declined to comment Wednesday. 

The poll, which has a margin of error of 2.5 points, found only 32% of Americans read the U.S. Justice Department’s indictment after it was made public. Meanwhile, 58% said they got their information about the indictment from news organizations and 21% said they relied on social media. 

The poll also found 64% of people want TV cameras allowed in the courtroom when Trump appears. 

Overall, 72% of respondents were somewhat or very dissatisfied with the country today, compared to 14% who felt good. That corresponds to how adults feel about the economy: 74% said the economy was “not so good” or poor, compared with 24% of adults who had a positive response. 

Democrats were not as down on the economy, but still 52% reported a negative view. That’s compared with 94% of Republicans and 76% of independents. 

Americans also gave the U.S. Supreme Court a 29% approval rating. Republicans, at 51%, were supportive of the U.S. Supreme Court, compared with only 11% of Democrats and 29% of independents. 

“American voters drop the gavel and prove harsh judges as a drip, drip, drip in approval gives the Highest Court its lowest marks,” Malloy said, noting the rating is the lowest since Quinnipiac started tracking public opinion. 

Most respondents, 68%, felt the court is motivated by politics more than the law, a figure that included majorities of Republicans, Democrats and independents. 

In fact, Americans were concerned about political divisions in the U.S., with 68%saying it had them worried “a lot” for America’s future and another 22% indicating they were worried “some.” Those fears were fairly consistent, regardless of political affiliation.  

Another question that drew strong agreement across party lines was Americans’ view of a merger agreement between professional golf organizations PGA Tour and LIV, funded by Saudi Arabia and its Public Investment Fund. 

The poll found 51% of respondents opposed the deal, compared with 21% who supported it and 29% who didn’t know or had no answer. 

Democrats were most opposed, at 62%, but Independents, 50%, and Republicans, 46%, were more likely to disapprove than support the deal. 

And 65% of adults support the Justice Department’s investigation of the agreement, with majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents agreeing. 

“Half of Americans say the PGA Tour was out of bounds hooking up with the heavily funded, Saudi- backed, LIV Golf,” Malloy said. “Now, after a fractious relationship, a vast majority of Americans support probes looking into how and why they became partners.”