Trump still has Republican support after his conviction. Why?


Donald Trump’s guilty verdict should make it clear he’s not fit to be president.

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Donald Trump is now a convicted felon. If that doesn’t motivate you to vote against him, I’m not sure what will.

Last week, the former president and presumptive Republican presidential nominee was found guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records. That should make your choice easy, right?

When speaking to protesters and other New Yorkers outside the courthouse last week, I knew how they would react to the verdict. There was both relief and agitation. The MAGA crowd was bummed but defiant, while the liberals were excited and a bit smug.

Still, I was a little concerned hearing Republicans talk of the ways this will boost Trump, who they are treating like a political prisoner. I don’t believe every Republican is that confident, but many are still deciding whether they’re disillusioned and frustrated enough to vote for a Democrat or not at all.

If you can get past the partisan politics, it shouldn’t be a difficult choice.

Polls after Trump verdict show his conviction has moved political needle. But not enough.

In the latest ABC News/Ipsos poll, 50% of Americans say the guilty verdict is correct, and 49% say Trump should end his presidential campaign.

A CBS/YouGov poll reported that 51% saw Trump as unfit to be president after this verdict.

Gen Z can’t let Trump win: Gen Z voters like me should be mad at Biden. But we can’t risk another Trump presidency.

In a more striking statistic, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found that 1 in 10 registered Republican voters are less likely to vote for Trump than they were before the verdict came out. The shock is that there aren’t more conservatives willing to break away from their party.

Trump has defied the law and disrupted the order of our country. If those two things are actually important to Republican voters, I don’t see how any of them could, in good conscience, vote for Trump.

In the Reuters survey, 56% of registered GOP voters said this would not affect their voting decision. I presume that includes some who were already planning on not voting for him. For the rest of the Republican voters and the independents on the fence, I have to wonder if anything will provide more clarity than this moment.

Republican voters have to decide what they care about

If you were considering who you want as president before last week, this conviction should make your decision for you. If you’re a Republican who cares about law and order, this conviction should make your decision for you. If you’re a conservative who wants the Republican Party to shed this MAGA skin, the conviction should make your decision for you.

If you’re President Joe Biden, this makes it clear your campaign has work to do.

I can’t vote Biden. Trump is guilty, where does that leave Republicans like me?

Justice has been carried out, and we now know that not only did Trump do something wrong, he did something wrong in an attempt to keep secrets from the public before he was elected the first time. More important, the American legal system convicted him of it.

I don’t know the reasons people are hesitant to take a side in this election or why some Republicans still defend Trump. It is clear now more than ever that he is not fit to be president. Just over half the country seems to think so.

Come November, we must be sure the red wave Trump voters have promised never makes it to shore.

Follow USA TODAY elections columnist Sara Pequeño on X, formerly Twitter, @sara__pequeno and Facebook facebook.com/PequenoWrites


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