Trump Evoking Negative Emotions Among Persuadable GOP Voters

A recent report has revealed that the majority of focus group participants who had supported Donald Trump in 2020, said that they would vote for him again against President Biden in 2024.[0] However, when asked to name the emotion they felt when they saw Trump on television or computer screens, things became complicated.[0]

Rich Thau, the moderator of the focus groups and president of Engagious, a firm specializing in policy message testing, 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.”[0]

The majority of the focus group participants picked words such as “anxious,” “neutral,” “frustrated,” “nervous,” “overwhelmed,” “fatigue,” “embarrassed,” “annoyed,” and “maddening” as their emotions upon seeing Trump, as opposed to “pride” and “hopeful.”[0] Most were careful not to criticize Trump directly but spoke of him as a victim with flaws, not as the unassailable political alpha leader that had taken the party by storm in 2016.[0]

Nancy from Iowa, a Trump voter, was blunt in her assessment, saying: “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.”[0]

The report concluded that all but two had voted for Trump in 2016 and all but one said they would support Trump over Biden.[0] Today, when asked who they would vote for the nomination, 3 replied Trump, 7 replied DeSantis, and 2 replied former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley.[0] They both stated that they had no knowledge[0]

0. “Feeling ‘overwhelmed’ and ‘fatigue,’ some GOP voters look beyond Trump” The Washington Post, 20 Feb. 2023,

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