Battleground voters sound off on how Trump’s guilty verdict will shape 2024

Voters across several key battleground states reacted to former President Donald Trump’s guilty verdict in New York with a mixture of disgust at his conduct and anger at the court, with a side of uncertainty about the charges he faced in the hush money trial.

More than 30 voters in Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin who spoke to NBC News painted different pictures of potential outcomes after the verdict, with some suggesting it will hurt the former president in the 2024 election while a few others thought it would rebound to his benefit. Others noted that views of Trump have grown so hardened over the past eight years that very few people might shift either way after this.

“I mean, you can say it could change the race, but with him — he tricky,” said Jamyiah Reed, a 21-year-old from Phoenix who is undecided on her 2024 vote. She added that Trump has “a lot of supporters and they’re very stern on their beliefs to support him. So I don’t think that the trial will make people not support him … it’s sad to say, but they look at him like a god.”

And while Trump’s guilty verdict penetrated the bubbles of people who don’t typically follow the news every day, the details of the trial were still lost on a number of voters who spoke with NBC News.

Asked if he understood the charges Trump faced in New York, 28-year-old Jalil Gray of Mesa, Arizona, said no — though he said Trump’s past now “might hurt him” in 2024, even after Gray supported him in 2016 and 2020. He is undecided now.

“I’m a common person here — live day to day, do my own thing, work, make my money, go home,” Gray said about the charges Trump faced. “Whatever he does, is what he does.”

Koda Furman, a Kenosha, Wisconsin resident who is not currently planning to vote, said, “I was just on TikTok scrolling past and I saw some memes about what happened with Donald Trump and all that. … Something happened with him and court and all that [and] he got caught.”

Donald Trump walks out of court and toward the media following the verdict in his hush money trial, in New York on Thursday.Mark Peterson / AP

Several Trump supporters noted that his legal troubles in 2023, when he was indicted in New York and three other jurisdictions on charges including allegedly mishandling classified documents and conspiring to overturn the 2020 election results, ended up boosting his polling in the GOP primary.

“It might have them vote for him even more, because of what they’ve put him through,” said Barbara Bennett, 83, a retired nurse assistant in Phoenix who is planning to vote for Trump for a third time this year. “I mean, I’m sure there’s a lot of things about his personality that I don’t like, but I did love his presidency.”

“I think it’s going to backfire, I really do,” said Roland Grap, another longtime Trump supporter from Pittsburgh. “Most people want to have the decision in their hands, not the decision of some court in New York.”

In Georgia, Emani L., a 32-year-old Clayton County resident who declined to share his last name, said he was moved to support for Trump.

“My reaction, because I’m a felon, I would still vote for Donald Trump,” Emani said, calling him “more relatable” to young Black people like himself. “What he did in the past, what he got going on, don’t have nothing to do with his business side. He’s a good businessman. So I’d vote for him.”

But plenty of other voters said the verdict would give them or their acquaintances pause.

“From what I’ve seen, it seems like I’d probably still vote Trump, but he doesn’t seem like as good a candidate” after being found guilty, said Vincent Beltran of Kenosha, Wisconsin, who also said he didn’t think President Joe Biden was a good enough candidate. He added: “It’s messed up that he went that way to win the race. I don’t know, maybe I’ll still vote for him. We’ll see.”

Another Arizona voter who supported Trump in the past had similar things to say.

“I think it’s such a close election, this could cajole the electorate in a different direction, you know, that people may not want to elect a convicted felon,” said Robbie Mayer, a 75-year-old retired prosecutor from Phoenix who twice backed Trump but is planning to sit out the 2024 election, saying both Trump and Biden are “terrible.”

Muhammad Fauzail, 34, said that he’s “still thinking about” his vote in Decatur, Georgia, balancing concern about Biden’s Israel policy with distaste for Trump and the feeling that his conduct embarrassed the country.

“I think we’ll have to work with what we have at this point,” Fauzail said. “One of them, either Biden or Trump, will be president and that’s, that’s… yeah, that’s the situation that we’re in right now.”

“I would probably go with Biden, because I know that Trump would do the same thing when it comes to the war in Gaza, but he would be worse for America internally,” Fauzail said.”

Noah F., a 2020 Biden voter from Gwinnett County, Georgia, who declined to provide his last name, said he’s not a fan of Biden or Trump and isn’t planning to vote for either. On Trump’s guilty verdict he sad, “Honestly, what does it change? He got convicted. I mean, he’s still gonna run for office … So many people are behind him. I don’t see him losing regardless of the verdict.”

A number of voters felt on more solid ground talking about the potential effects of the case than the details of the case itself, noting that Trump has generated a lot of controversy in the last decade.

“No, I don’t know the 34 counts,” Reed, of Phoenix, said. “He’s got a lot going on. It’s always something from from this to that.”