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Poll: A majority of Americans think Trump committed crimes before becoming president

A poll finds that one-third of Republicans are among those who feel this way.

Trump Signs Executive Order On Roadmap To Empower Veterans And End Veteran Suicide
US President Donald Trump attends a signing ceremony of an executive order at the White House on the “National Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End Veteran Suicide” on March 5, 2019, in Washington, DC. 
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Li Zhou is a politics reporter at Vox, where she covers Congress and elections. Previously, she was a tech policy reporter at Politico and an editorial fellow at the Atlantic.

A new Quinnipiac poll indicates many Americans believe President Trump has done illegal stuff. It also suggests that Trump is facing a sharp gender gap heading into 2020.

According to the poll, which was conducted in the wake of his former attorney Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony last week, a majority of voters think Trump committed crimes before becoming president.

Sixty-four percent of respondents to the survey think that Trump committed a crime prior to taking office, compared to 24 percent who do not and 13 percent who said they didn’t know. When the data is broken out across party lines, a whopping 89 percent of Democrats think Trump committed a crime prior to taking office, while a still-notable 33 percent of Republicans do. Sixty-five percent of independents also said they felt the same. The poll does not specify what it means by “crime” in the question, however.

When it comes to the question of potential crimes during Trump’s time in office, people are a bit more unsure. Forty-five percent of respondents said they believed he had committed crimes since taking office, while 43 percent disagreed.

Cohen’s testimony in front of the House Oversight Committee, which offered details about everything from hush money payments to Stormy Daniels to racist comments Trump may have made, appears to have resonated with quite a few people. Fifty percent of voters say they believe Cohen more than Trump, according to the poll, and 58 percent believe that Congress should continue to investigate claims he’s made about “Trump’s unethical and illegal behavior.”

While most of the poll results are still heavily split between Republicans and Democrats, the survey suggests that a portion of the GOP is also concerned about Trump’s honesty and track record, though the majority of Republican respondents still broadly support his approach to policy.

The area where Trump was most likely to get credit from voters was on his handling of the economy. Forty-nine percent of respondents overall said they approved of his work on this issue, while just 38 percent approved of his efforts on foreign policy and 40 percent approved of his approach to immigration issues.

“When two-thirds of voters think you have committed a crime in your past life, and almost half of voters say it’s a tossup over whether you committed a crime while in the Oval Office, confidence in your overall integrity is very shaky,” Quinnipiac’s Tim Malloy said in a statement. ”Add to that, Michael Cohen, a known liar headed to the big house, has more credibility than the leader of the free world.”

Women were more likely than men to question Trump’s honesty and call for impeachment proceedings to begin

The survey also underscored a hefty gender gap in the way women and men perceived different aspects of Trump’s presidency. Women were more likely to call for Congress to kick-start its impeachment process, and more likely to disapprove of the job Trump is doing.

Forty-five percent of women said that Congress should begin impeachment proceedings for Trump, compared to 23 percent of men. And 71 percent of women said Trump is not honest, versus 57 percent of men.

Additionally, 65 percent of women disapprove of the job he’s doing as president, while 45 percent of men do.

On average, 55 percent of voters disapprove of Trump’s job performance, roughly the same range as the proportion who disapproved in a set of January Quinnipiac polls.