Axios reported Sunday that a focus group of swing voters by Engagious/Schlesinger is ready for former President Donald Trump to be prosecuted for the Jan. 6 attack on Congress and attempt to overthrow the 2020 election.
Polls have consistently shown an increase in the blame for the former president as the House Select Committee continues to host public hearings presenting the evidence they've uncovered. But a focus group can take a deeper dive into Americans' attitudes, particularly of swing voters in swing states.
The Wisconsin swing voters match the same opinion as Arizona swing voters who were interviewed last month.
"Engagious/Schlesinger conducted two online focus groups on Tuesday with 14 Wisconsinites who voted for Trump in 2016, then Joe Biden in 2020," said Axios. "They included 12 independents, one Democrat and one Republican... Eight participants said they've watched at least part of the Jan. 6 hearings so far. Several said the hearings were helpful for "accountability" but that the committee already has 'their proof' of what happened that day."
It's a problem for Donald Trump, but more for Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), who is up for reelection in November. Johnson was asked by someone to hand over a list of fake electors to Vice President Mike Pence. That list has now come under investigation by the Department of Justice as potential fraud.
Signers to the slate of fake electors have been subpoenaed in recent weeks as the DOJ seeks information on who in Donald Trump's campaign was behind the scheme.
While many of those in the group didn't know much about Johnson, those who did weren't happy. One voter called him a "puppet for Trump."
"Those who thought Trump should face criminal prosecution didn't relent even when the moderator pushed back and said doing so would be unprecedented, potentially putting future presidents at risk of being prosecuted for political reasons," Axios said of the focus group report. "Voters were adamant that such a move would help deter similar attempts by anyone else in the future to 'overthrow the government.'"
One woman said that no president should have provoked what happened on Jan. 6.
"Many people were injured. Look at how many lives you put at stake because you were allowing this to happen. And he was happy about it," said Samantha O.
Another person in the focus group, 59-year-old Andrew R. said, "We have to show other people that this just can't be done in the future. [Prosecution] is going to be the price to pay if you try to do a coup again — and that's exactly what it was, a coup."
There were others in the group who compared Jan. 6 to something happening in "third-world countries." One called it "too extreme," and they feared it would happen again if something wasn't done to prevent it. "It just opens a floodgate for what anybody else is allowed to do."
Rich Thau, president of Engagious, was the one who created the focus group, explained that after leading chants of "lock her up," it's Trump they want to see locked up.
Those in the focus group also indicated that federal gun legislation was among their top three issues, despite a soft law being passed. They didn't identify abortion as a top issue, however.