“Normal people are repulsed by Trump”: Independent voters recoil after Trump is hit with indictment

A growing number of voters who previously supported former President Donald Trump are looking at other options after his indictment last week.

Randy Marquardt, the chairman of Wisconsin’s Washington County, where Trump garnered his largest 2020 vote, told The Wall Street Journal that a fierce debate broke out at a recent get-together between two members of the local GOP.

“It got ugly and people eventually went their separate ways to head home,” he told the outlet. “The other guy argued that Trump came with too much baggage. But there are still quite a few people who are all in with Trump.”

Marquardt, who voted for Trump in the last two presidential elections, said he thinks it is time for the party to move on.

“I appreciate what he did and was pleasantly surprised by how conservative he was and how he kept his promises,” Marquardt said. “But there is just something about him that ignites the other side. It can’t be overcome.”

Despite Trump’s belief that his indictment may have stoked a fire of support for his most fervent allies, a CNN poll released last week showed that 62% of independent voters approved of the indictment.  

The WSJ’s John McCormick interviewed numerous voters and found opinions sharply divided ahead of the 2024 Republican primary.

“The party should avoid Trump and find a younger and fresher candidate,” 73-year-old Dallas lawyer David Sherwood, who voted for Trump two elections in a row, told the outlet. “I don’t think Trump can win because he has too much baggage. He has good policies, but an abrasive personality.”

Sherwood feels Trump’s felony charges have shifted his opinions “a little bit” because he considers it to be a distraction to the former president’s campaign. 

Cyndi Tendick, a 30-year-old self-described moderate Republican from Phoenix, Arizona, said she is “looking for someone who can come in and work the middle.” She feels Trump is “more drama than necessary, and he would not be able to get anything done.”

However, Tendick also thinks the indictment is “a bunch of B.S.” and feels Manhattan prosecutors should look to more relevant and serious crimes. “There is so much other stuff going on, way worse than he did,” she said.

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Cassi Carey, 59, said she wants “someone I can actually vote for, rather than vote against.” Carey, who lives in suburban Milwaukee, is enthralled by the prospect of a second presidential election between Joe Biden and Trump, believing the former to be too old and the latter to be too polarizing.

Josh Olson, who did not vote for Trump in 2016 or 2020, said he doesn’t plan to give his vote to the now-indicted Trump in 2024 — unless Democrats nominate a candidate more liberal than Biden. The 34-year-old Huntersville, North Carolina resident said that Trump’s indictment didn’t make much of a difference in his distaste for the ex-president. “A lot of us normal people are repulsed by Trump already, whether he was indicted or not,” said Olson.

“He’s just too caustic,” said Kevin Welch, 59, of Pottsville, Pennsylvania, though he voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020. “I liked some of the things he did for this country, but the division that he causes, because of the words he sues, creates a lot of tension.” Welch said he would vote for Trump again in 2024, however, because he dislikes Biden even more. 

“How many other human beings get charged for paying off a mistress?” Welch said of the indictment, which he feels is a “ridiculous waste of time and government resources.”

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