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Trump's hush money trial verdict could come this week. Here's what each outcome could mean for the election.

Julia Terruso, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Political News

Twelve jurors in New York City are poised to make history when they reveal the verdict in the first criminal trial of a former U.S. president.

The decision could influence some voters in a close presidential race in key swing states like Pennsylvania with six months until the election.

Closing arguments in former President Donald Trump's hush money trial are slated for Tuesday with jury deliberations likely to start on Wednesday.

Prosecutors have alleged that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee engaged in a strategy to acquire and suppress unfavorable news stories, to impact the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. Trump has pleaded not guilty to falsifying business records to cover up the purported scheme. It's the first of Trump's four criminal cases to go to trial, and likely the only one to be tried before the Nov. 5 election.

As the campaign barrels toward November, the hush money trial has done little to shift a tight race. That's partly because polling shows few voters are paying attention to it.

In a recent YouGov/Yahoo News poll, just 16% of respondents said they'd been following the trial "very closely," with one-third saying they were taking a mild interest in proceedings. More Americans said the trial made them feel "bored" or "angry" than interested.

 

That's somewhat surprising given the salacious subject matter — a former adult film star detailing an alleged sexual encounter with a presidential candidate. But Trump has a long history of outrageous behavior, and if the facts of the case have not motivated voters en masse, a legal outcome of them might not either.

"I think even his most ardent supporters, given who he is, can believe everything they said he did," GOP consultant Chris Nicholas said. "Whether it ends up being found to be felonious criminally is another story."

Here's what we're watching for in the three scenarios that could play out.

If Donald Trump is found guilty

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