A new poll says Donald Trump is a persona non grata with the MAGA crowd when it comes to the 2024 presidential election. And the January 6th hearings may have something to do with that. Republican strategist, and never-Trumper, Sarah Longwell has been conducting focus groups with Trump voters for the past year. And for the first time ever – none want to see Trump on the 2024 ballot, according to The New York Times.
“It is plausible that part of what the Jan. 6 hearings are doing is just creating more of that reminder that Trump is a lot to have to defend, a lot to deal with,” Longwell told columnist Michelle Goldberg.
This is a complete turnaround from February 2022, when a majority of Trump voters in the focus group said they wanted him in 2024.
I want to quickly unpack something that’s in a lot of the polling, but that I think the focus groups provide additional context about: The number of GOP voters who want Trump to run again vs move on. Quick thread: https://t.co/EV8XB2xsVn
— Sarah Longwell (@SarahLongwell25) February 17, 2022
While the House Select Committee on January 6th has been investigating and collecting evidence since 2021, it wasn’t until the televised hearings that things started to unfold before the public – and unravel for Trump. The bi-partisan committee is co-chaired by life-long conservative Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), and witness after witness has come forward with damning testimony about Trump’s involvement in inciting the violence on Jan. 6th, as well as aggressive attempts before and after that date to illegally overturn the 2020 election results. These include everything from Trump’s quack attorney, John Eastman’s, seven-point plan, to pressuring local state officials not to certify the results. He even went so far as to have fake electors attempt to cast illegitimate ballots for Trump – in states he knowingly lost.
Even though most in the focus group claim not to have seen the hearings, word travels fast. With the first hearing getting 20 million viewers, it’s safe to say details of the testimony got out. Though Trump and his GOP allies have gone on the defense, Longwell’s focus group findings show that it may be too little, too late. Many in Trump’s inner circle have testified at the hearings – and none of their testimony is in his favor. Everyone claimed that Trump knew he’d lost the election when he pushed the “Big Lie.” And he was well aware that what he was attempting to do was illegal, as he was told by his white House Counsel and by his former Attorney General, Bill Barr.
With Florida Governor Ron DeSantis gaining popularity with the MAGA crowd, the tide seems to be turning towards a candidate with less baggage – and less probability of imprisonment — for now, anyway. With more hearings to come next month, we’ll see if the MAGA voters continue to say to Trump: “We’re just not that into you.”
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick