A recent report from Arizona, a pivotal state in recent elections, suggests that some past supporters of ex-President Donald Trump might be reconsidering their allegiance. As it stands, Trump is ahead in the early polls for the 2024 Republican presidential nominee. He’s making efforts to return to the presidency even as he confronts four criminal cases with a cumulative count of more than 90 charges – an unusual situation for an ex-president. Trump has denied all accusations.
Although national survey data indicate that these charges haven’t drastically affected Trump’s GOP backing, there are hints that his base might not be as steadfast as previously thought, especially amongst independent voters. In a discussion with 15 independent Arizona voters who once endorsed Trump, Reuters observed a notable resistance to his ongoing presidential aspirations. Notably, independent voters constitute the majority in Arizona and have played a pivotal role in past elections.
Mark Clarcq, a 77-year-old who supported Trump in 2016, remarked to Reuters, “He’s misguided. He still argues that the 2020 election was tampered with. His actions in Georgia were clearly an attempt to secure votes that weren’t his. That’s illicit. I’m fully behind the Georgia case. Let the legal system decide and he shouldn’t get a pardon.”
Clarcq mentioned he wouldn’t back Trump in the future. Of the independent voters interviewed, only one expressed intent to vote for Trump in 2024, with the rest voicing strong disapproval of his recent actions.
Susan Aitken, 71, another 2016 Trump voter, stated, “It’s about time he’s facing charges. He discussed contesting the election results even before his defeat. Anyone else would’ve faced repercussions much sooner.”
When Reuters reached out for a comment, a representative for Trump chose not to address the feedback, labeling it an insubstantial and non-systematic sample. However, Reuters pointed to a July survey, in partnership with Ipsos, indicating that approximately 37% of independent voters were discouraged from supporting Trump due to his legal troubles, while a mere 8% felt more inclined to back him.
Another poll from Morning Consult earlier in August highlighted that roughly 20% of GOP voters were in favor of the accusations against Trump. A more contemporary survey by Politico and Ipsos revealed that nearly a third of participants from all political affiliations stated that a federal conviction would deter them from supporting Trump in 2024, inclusive of about one-third of those who identified as independents.