A new Emerson College Polling survey in the nation’s capital asked D.C. residents if they would vote to find former President Donald Trump guilty in the trial over Trump’s efforts to subvert results of the 2020 election. A majority, 64%, of residents would vote to find Trump guilty, while 8% would find him innocent with 28% unsure. 

Spencer Kimball, Executive Director of Emerson College Polling, said, “Perception of Trump’s guilt varies by gender: 75% of women would vote to find Trump guilty compared to 54% of men. Men are more likely to find the former president innocent at 12%, compared to 4% of women.”

  • Democratic voters find Trump guilty 69% to 5%. Independents share a similar attitude: 53% think Trump is guilty and 14% innocent. 
  • Republicans are more split: 36% think Trump is guilty, 35% innocent and 30% unsure.

Regardless of their own opinion about the verdict, 57% expect the jury to find him guilty, while 10% expect the jury to find Trump innocent. A third (33%) are unsure. 

“Republicans and Democrats are most likely to think Trump will be found guilty at 61% and 60% respectively, while independents are at 48%,” Kimball noted. 

D.C. residents are split on whether or not they would want to serve on the jury of Donald Trump: 55% would want to serve on the jury, while 45% would rather not serve on the jury. 

“It appears that those who are more impartial about the trial are less likely to want to serve on the jury,” Kimball said. “Those who want to serve find Trump guilty rather than innocent 68% to 9% with 23% unsure, while those who don’t want to serve think Trump is guilty 60% to 6%, with 34% unsure.”

Kimball noted, “Democrats and Republicans are more eager to serve on the jury while independents are more disinterested: 61% of Democrats and 60% of Republicans would want to serve on the jury, while 66% of independents would not want to serve on the jury.” 

  • A majority of Black residents (54%) would not want to serve on jury on this trial while a majority of white (68%) and Hispanic residents (58%) want to serve. 
  • Those over 65 are most likely to want to serve on the jury: 62% want to serve compared to 54% of those between 50 and 64, 53% of those between 35 and 49, and 55% of adults under 35.
  • Those with college degrees are more likely to want to serve on a jury than those without: 66% of residents with a postgraduate and 57% of those with college degrees want to serve, compared to 42% of those with a high school diploma or less wanting to serve on the jury.

Residents were asked what concerns them more about the jury: if the jury will be too harsh on Trump, easy on Trump, or neither. Forty-nine percent are not concerned about the jury either being too harsh or easy, while 42% are concerned the jury will be too easy on Trump, and 8% are more concerned that the jury will be too harsh on Trump. 

  • Of those who want to serve on the jury, 44% think the jury will be too easy on Trump. Of those who do not want to serve, 41% think the jury will be too easy on the former president.
  • Democrats (43%) and independents (44%) think the jury will be too easy on Trump while Republicans are split: 24% each for being too easy/too hard.


The Emerson College Polling D.C. survey was conducted August 29-September 2, 2023. The sample of Washington, D.C. residents, n=500, has a credibility interval, similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE), of +/-  4.3 percentage points. The data sets were weighted by gender, education, race, age, party affiliation, and region. Weights are based on U.S. Census parameters, and voter registration data. 

It is important to remember that subsets based on demographics, such as gender, age, education, and race/ethnicity, carry with them higher credibility intervals, as the sample size is reduced. Survey results should be understood within the poll’s range of scores, and understand with a confidence interval of 95% a poll will fall outside the range of scores 1 in 20 times.

Data was collected by contacting an online panel, cell phones via SMS-to-web, and landlines via Interactive Voice Response (IVR).

All questions asked in this survey with exact wording, along with full results, demographics, and cross tabulations can be found under “Full Results.”