New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu (R) recently stated that he would support the Republican nominee for the 2024 presidential election, even if it meant backing former President Trump, who hypothetically could be a convicted felon. In an interview with CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, Sununu justified his stance by referencing voter sentiment and criticizing President Biden’s performance.
When asked if he would still support Trump as the GOP nominee if he were convicted of a felony, Sununu pointed out that current polls indicate many Americans would vote for Trump over Biden due to their dissatisfaction with Biden’s presidency. He stated that most of America is inclined to choose Trump because of the need for change in the country.
Although Sununu has previously criticized Trump and publicly endorsed former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley for president, he clarified that he would support the Republican nominee, as is expected from a Republican governor. He emphasized that the issues surrounding the election have not significantly impacted the Republican base in their support for Trump. Sununu also noted that Trump is currently leading in the polls by a small margin, making the race highly competitive.
Regarding Trump’s legal challenges, he is currently facing four indictments, including two related to his attempt to overturn the 2020 election results. When pressed by Collins about whether Trump, as a convicted felon, could still win against Biden, Sununu responded affirmatively, citing the results of various polls.
However, the polling data on this matter remains mixed. While the Republican Party is becoming less inclined to hold Trump responsible for the events of the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot and more likely to believe his claims of being targeted by political opponents, some polls suggest that a conviction could affect his support. For example, a recent New York Times/Siena College poll showed that a significant minority of Trump’s supporters would consider changing their minds if he were convicted in any of the ongoing cases, even after he hypothetically won the primary.
According to the poll, 20% of Trump supporters believed that he should go to prison if convicted in the federal case regarding the election overturn. Additionally, there has been an increase in the number of his supporters who view his actions as serious federal crimes. However, it should be noted that other polls have shown a different perspective in swing states, suggesting that only around 6% of Trump supporters would change their vote based on a conviction.
Overall, there is ongoing debate about how a potential felony conviction for Trump could affect his support among Republican voters. While some polls indicate his loyal base would not be deterred, others suggest a conviction could sway a significant portion of his supporters.