How a Trump conviction changes the 2024 race in our latest poll

The newest national NBC News poll shows former President Donald Trump leading current President Joe Biden by 5 points among registered voters, 47%-42%, in a hypothetical general-election matchup.

But when the survey’s final question re-asks voters what their ballot choice would be if Trump is found guilty and convicted of a felony this year, Biden narrowly pulls ahead of Trump, 45%-43%.

Some of the most pronounced shifts come among voters who backed Biden strongly in 2020, but among whom he is struggling now as president — younger voters, Latinos and independents.

On the original ballot, Biden and Trump are tied 42%-42% among voters ages 18 to 34. But when these voters are asked about their ballot choice if Trump is convicted, they break for Biden by 15 points, 47%-32%.

Similarly, Latinos go from Trump 42%, Biden 41% on the first ballot — to Biden 45%, Trump 35% on the second one asking the hypothetical question about Trump’s conviction.

And independents shift from a 19-point lead for Trump on the first ballot to a smaller, 8-point edge for Trump on the second.

Especially among independents, it’s a dramatic shift. But it’s always unclear how a hypothetical will play out in real life.

Republican pollster Bill McInturff, the GOP half of the bipartisan group of pollsters who conduct the NBC News survey, cautions that the sliver of voters who shift on these two ballots — 55 in total out of 1,000 interviews — hold overwhelmingly negative opinions about Biden, and they also prefer a Republican-controlled Congress by more than 60 points.

As a result, McInturff says, he has doubts if these voters would really stick with Biden even if Trump is convicted of a felony.

The NBC News poll was conducted Jan. 26-30 of 1,000 registered voters — 867 contacted via cellphone — and it has an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points.

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