Former President Donald Trump may be facing a revolt from some former supporters, according to a new report on Friday out of Arizona, a key election battleground state.
Trump is currently the leading candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination as he seeks a second term in the White House, outpacing the rest of the crowded field by a sizeable margin in polls. At the same time, he is also facing four criminal indictments, with a total of over 90 criminal charges, an unprecedented circumstance for a former president. Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges across the various indictments.
Despite national polls showing that the indictments have seemingly had little impact on his support among GOP voters, some signs have begun to emerge that this support may not be as unshakeable as it seems, particularly among independents. Speaking with 15 such voters in Arizona who previously supported Trump, Reuters found significant pushback against his continued pursuance of the presidency. Independents, the outlet noted, make up the largest voting block in the Grand Canyon State, and have had a major influence nationwide in recent elections.
“He’s delusional,” Mark Clarcq, a 77-year-old Arizonan who voted for Trump in 2016, told Reuters. “He’s still saying the 2020 election was fraudulent. In Georgia, he was definitely trying to gain votes he didn’t have. That’s an illegal process. Absolutely I support the Georgia indictment. The justice system should play out and I don’t think he should be pardoned.”
Clarcq added that he will never support Trump again. Among the independents surveyed for the report, only one said that they would vote for Trump in 2024, while the rest expressed similar disgust over his recent conduct.
“I’m glad he’s been indicted,” Susan Aitken, a 71-year-old who also voted for Trump in 2016, said. “He was already talking about overturning the election even before he lost. Anybody else would be in jail by now.”
Newsweek reached out to Trump’s office via email for comment.
In response to an inquiry from Reuters, a Trump spokesman declined to respond to the comments, dismissing them as a small and unscientific sample. Reuters did note, however, that a July poll it conducted with Ipsos found that around 37 percent of independent voters were less likely to vote for Trump as a result of his criminal indictments, while only 8 percent said they were more likely to support him.
A Morning Consult poll released earlier in August found that around one-fifth of GOP voters supported the charges against Trump. In a more recent poll from Politico and Ipsos, around one-third of respondents from across the political spectrum said that a conviction on federal charges would make them less likely to back Trump in 2024, which included around one-third of respondents who identified as independents.