Authority on U.S. Politics Available To Discuss So-Called ‘Hush Money’ Case

UMass Lowell John Cluverius
UMass Lowell's John Cluverius is available as an expert source to reporters covering U.S. politics.


Media contacts: Emily Gowdey-Backus, director of media relations and Nancy Cicco, assistant director of media relations 
A New York jury’s criminal conviction on all counts of former president Donald Trump won’t change the Republican’s 2024 campaign message claiming persecution by the U.S. government, according to UMass Lowell’s John Cluverius, an expert in U.S. politics who is available for interviews.
“With this verdict, a major political party in the United States is running with a convicted felon at the top of the ticket. But it won’t change Trump’s campaign message that he’s being ‘persecuted.’ His legal issues have a rhythm to them: Politically speaking, one conviction could lead to another, and today’s verdict increases pressure to hold more of his criminal trials before the election,” said Cluverius, the associate director and director of survey research of UMass Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion.
Last year, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced Trump’s indictment on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. The prosecution’s case turned on the belief Trump did so to hide payments he made to silence Stephanie Clifford, an adult film actress known as Stormy Daniels. Trump and Daniels are alleged to have had a sexual encounter in the past; according to the prosecution, Trump sought to hide the relationship, fearing it could hurt his chances to win the 2016 presidential race. In so doing, the prosecution argued he unlawfully interfered with the election.
Jury members were obligated to be unanimous in their decision on each of the counts. It was the first criminal case against a former U.S. president in history. 
The verdict is intertwined with Trump’s likelihood of returning to the White House in 2024, according to Cluverius. 
“The most important thing to remember about this presidential race is fewer voters are paying attention right now than were at the same time in 2020, and those who aren’t paying attention are more likely to say they’re supporting Trump. Even so, with more focus on scandal, Trump’s chances to win the 2024 election diminish.”
An authority on U.S. politics and political methodology, Cluverius is an associate professor in UMass Lowell’s political science department where he is the associate director and director of survey research of the university’s Center for Public Opinion. To arrange an interview with him, contact Emily Gowdey-Backus or Nancy Cicco.