Why the Biden campaign finally decided to whack Trump on his New York verdict

Source: Politico | June 18, 2024 | Elena Schneider, Lauren Egan and Lisa Kashinsky

The ad hitting Trump followed weeks of polling and focus groups by Biden’s campaign and its allies.

President Joe Biden’s campaign had been restrained in its attacks on Donald Trump’s New York criminal conviction for weeks until the campaign said internal polling and focus groups showed the verdict turned off voters.

The result, hitting TV sets across the country on Monday, was the campaign’s unleashing of its sharpest attack ad yet, depicting Trump as a “convicted criminal who’s only out for himself.” And the campaign says it’s just the start. Biden advisers say they plan to hammer Trump over the coming weeks — aiming to both set up a favorable narrative ahead of next week’s debate and keep Trump’s felony conviction top-of-mind for voters who haven’t yet fully tuned into the election.

“We’ve seen in polling since the conviction that the more the conviction is front and center in voters’ attention, the worse it is for Trump,” said a Biden campaign pollster granted anonymity to describe internal polling because they were not authorized to do so publicly.

The pollster said their research concluded that Trump’s conviction could effectively be used in a broader depiction of Trump as being self-centered and unwilling to take responsibility for his actions.

“Trump has dug his own hole deeper on the convictions,” the pollster said, “and we’re seeing him pay the price for that in the polling.”

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