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'This has never happened before'; Green Bay reacts to the Trump guilty verdict

Posted at 10:17 PM, May 30, 2024

GREEN BAY (NBC26) — In New York Donald Trump has been found guilty in 34 counts of falsifying business documents.

  • Former UW Green Bay professor, Michael Kraft says that the road forward is long.
  • He says he's more interested to see how this will affect Republican Part voters.
  • Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Brian Shimming says that Donald Trump will be the nominee at the convention.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

Michael Kraft is a former political science professor at UW Green Bay. He's reacting to the verdict.

"This has never happened before,” said Professor Kraft. “Democrats will try to hammer home the conviction, what it means and whether he belongs in the White House again. Republicans will criticize the judge, the New York jury."

Professor Kraft told me he expects appeals in the case and for it not to end very soon.

"I think more interesting is how will voters in Wisconsin and elsewhere respond,” said Kraft.

A question I had too as I hit the Green Bay streets.

"I’m glad that they did find him guilty,” said one local Ann Kamps. “I did not like him as president, and I hope to heck he doesn't get reelected."

"I’m not happy with it but I hope he pulls through,” another local, Mary Kay said. "I liked him as a president and I’m voting for him still."

But through both support and dissent Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Brian Shimming says the choice is simple.

"We are going to have the Republican Convention here and we will be nominating Donald Trump at that convention,” said Shimming.

Professor Kraft says his eyes are on how the rest of the Republican Party reacts.

"None of this would matter if voters say, 'I don't care',” said Kraft. “And some Republicans will say, 'I don't care'."

He told me some research says as many as 20% of Republicans could now be turned away from voting for Trump.

"Even if it's only 10% of republicans that say, 'I was going to vote for trump, now I can't',” Kraft says. “That's enough to cost him some critical states."

Professor Kraft did tell me that the guilty verdict did not surprise him. What did though was that all 34 counts came down as guilty.

We will continue to keep you up to date with the latest developments as the 2024 General Election approaches.