Reacting to continuous reporting from polling expert Sarah Longwell that Donald Trump's popularity is waning with conservative and Republican voters, pollster Rich Thau and Jill Ditommaso sat down with Missouri voters -- who are headed to the polls on Tuesday -- to see how the former president is doing in the "Show Me " state.
In two words: not well.
In a report for the Bulwark , they claim that a focus group of 13 Republican voters -- none of them swing voters -- were tepid at best at the prospect of a third Trump presidential run.
Responses to how they felt about Trump jumping into the 2024 race ranged from reluctantly voting for him if Joe Biden was the Democratic nominee to the former president "doesn't deserve to be president again."
According to the report, "While these Republican respondents expressed mixed emotions, they were by and large either opposed to or underwhelmed by the possibility of a Trump 2024 presidential run," later adding, "Five of the thirteen said outright that they don’t want him to run again. Many of those cited his character and his behavior on January 6th as his greatest shortcomings."
John M. of Wildwood, Missouri explained his position, stating, "I think it’s just a real character issue. I voted for him last time. I don’t think he has the character to be president. I love his policies, but don’t like his character at all.”
Lisa R. of Smithville concurred by suggesting Trump's antics, "tells a lot of a person to have the bullying stance that [Trump] took within his party and against the Democratic party, and then have his wife run an anti-bullying campaign. . . . So for me, he lost a lot of respect just throughout his whole presidential term.”
The Jan. 6 insurrection weighed heavily on St Louis resident Kathy R. who exclaimed, "And just that fact alone [January 6th], the man doesn’t deserve to be president again. I mean, that was the first time that it’s happened on a federal building . . . and by a president . . . so I’m just totally against him.”
According to the report, there is also little appetite for former vice president Mike Pence to run, with one panelist explaining, "He just seemed like he would just be OK with anything that Donald Trump did. And so I lost a lot of respect for him in that matter. . . . After the January 6th thing, I think he stood up and did some good things. But his standing up during that time . . . was outweighed by four years of just kind of like being a lackey."
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