AJC poll: Georgia voters divided on fairness of Trump investigation

Georgia voters appear to be deeply divided over the fairness of the Fulton County special grand jury investigation into former President Donald Trump, according to a new Atlanta Journal-Constitution statewide poll.

Forty-nine percent of likely voters surveyed reported having “very little” or “only some” confidence that the investigation into actions by Trump and his allies to change the outcome of the 2020 election is being conducted fairly and impartially. Forty-four percent have a “fair amount” or “great deal” of confidence.

It found that 22% of respondents had “a great deal” and an another 22% had “a fair amount” of confidence in the probe, which was launched in February 2021 by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

Slightly more than one-third of respondents, meanwhile, said they had “very little” faith in the inquiry, while less than 15% reported feeling “only some.”

The survey of likely voters, conducted by the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs, has a margin of error of 3.3%.

The poll surveyed voters far beyond the confines of Fulton County, which will determine whether Willis should be reelected in 2024. It’s notable because little public polling has been conducted so far on the investigation, one of several currently ensnaring the former president.

Twenty-three jurors were selected in May to aid the criminal investigation, which is examining whether Trump or his allies broke any state laws as they tried to overturn Georgia’s 2020 presidential election results.

Among the episodes jurors are examining: Trump’s phone calls to Secretary of State Raffensperger and Gov. Brian Kemp; election misinformation spread by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and others at a set of Statehouse hearings; tumult in the Atlanta U.S. Attorney’s Office and the appointment of a slate of “alternate” GOP electors. The panel is also looking at attempts to pressure a Fulton poll worker and the breach of voter data in Coffee County.

At least 17 people, including Giuliani and the Republican electors, have received letters informing them they could face charges as part of the investigation. Willis recently said more people will soon be added to the list of “targets.”

According to the poll, Black Georgia voters are nearly twice as likely as white voters to have the most confidence in the investigation, while people with a high school diploma or less are the likeliest to have the least faith in it.

Slightly more than 1 in 4 Republican voters reported having a great deal or a fair amount of faith in the investigation, compared with two-thirds of Democrats and 45% of independents.

Slightly less than half of Republicans said they had very little confidence in the investigation.

Linda Williams, a retired warehouse logistics specialist from Union City, believes the inquiry is just.

“If you break the law, you break the law,” she said. Referring to Trump’s leaked Jan. 2, 2021, call to Raffensperger, she added, “I’ve never seen anyone so blatantly pick up the phone and call, ‘Hey, I need this many votes.’ That’s outrageous.”

Ray B., a conservative from Middle Georgia who asked to withhold his last name because his job prohibited him from speaking to the media, said any inquiry into Trump won’t be fair and impartial at this point, “especially if it’s done by a Democrat.”

“They’ve been after him since he was elected the first time,” he said. “They’re scared to death he’s going to run again. Because they know if he runs again, he’s got a very good chance of winning, especially if it’s against Biden or Harris.”