Donald Trump will likely not be pleased at how he is being viewed by a collection of voters who backed him in 2020 and recently took part in two focus groups about his political future.
The participants, who hail from the key early-voting states of New Hampshire, Nevada, Iowa and South Carolina, uniformly stood up when asked about their previous support for the former president – but that does not make him their first choice when it comes to 2024.
As the Washington Post is reporting, participants expressed a wide array of emotions when asked about the former president, and said they would still select him over President Joe Biden in a 2024 match-up – but their continued support was muted at best.
According to the report, "Nearly all of the focus group participants had supported Donald Trump in 2020 and said they would vote for him again against President Biden in 2024. But things got complicated when the moderator asked for the one emotion they now felt when they saw Trump on television or computers screens."
Rich Thau, the moderator of the focus groups, said, "To borrow a phrase from the late Ross Perot, what we heard was the giant sucking sound of persuadable GOP voters migrating away from Donald Trump. People tend to vote more on how they feel than how they think. And Trump is evoking more negative than positive emotions in these voters.”
According to the report, those negative emotions should concern the former president and his team as he ramps up his 2024 campaign.
"Two people picked 'pride' and 'hopeful' as their emotions upon seeing Trump, but the rest pulled from the other end of their emotional range, with words like 'anxious,' 'neutral,' 'frustrated,' 'nervous,' 'overwhelmed,' 'fatigue,' 'embarrassed,' 'annoyed,' and 'maddening,' the Post report stated. "Most were careful not to criticize Trump directly — they praised his presidency and had critical views of Biden — but something had shifted. They spoke of him as a victim with flaws, not as the unassailable political alpha leader that had taken the party by storm in 2016."
One Trump voter, 69-year-old Nancy from Iowa, was blunt and admitted, "The current Trump is not the Trump that I voted for. I feel like he has shown some things, qualities and non-qualities, whatever, that I don’t care for now.”
In the final analysis, the Post report added, "All but two had voted for Trump in 2016 and all but one said they would support Trump over Biden. When asked who they would vote for today for the nomination, three said Trump, seven said DeSantis and two said former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. Two said they did not know."
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