I'm tired of hearing about what Democrats and Republicans think about Trump. Let's get to the perspective of those who are independent or unaffiliated with either party!

For Discussion:
1. What do Independents think about Trump's recent guilty verdict?
2. If you are an Independent, would you vote for a convicted felon, like Trump?
 
1. What do Independents think about Trump's recent guilty verdict?
Based on my research, I believe that Trump was likely guilty of falsifying business records. This CBS article explains how Trump knew that he was making payments to Cohen as part of hush money payments but listed the payments as something else. So the verdict seems reasonable enough. What I don't like is that this case seemed to be used as a weapon and not just for justice. In my view, justice should never be weaponized, although I wouldn't accept the alternative of just letting someone go of a crime either.

2. If you are an Independent, would you vote for a convicted felon, like Trump?
I thought about this and it sounded very bad at first for someone to still vote for Trump. But as an independent myself, I'm very keen on the double-standards and selective standards in politics, and I got to thinking that even if Trump is a felon, that doesn't make all other politicians good either. When only about 20% of the American population trust the federal government most of the time, then I'd say there's a problem, and I'd argue that the trust has been damaged. So while some want to say that people shouldn't vote for Trump because he's bad, my response is that most politicians are bad (some get caught, some get away with it if prosecutors don't press the issue). If I were to go based on integrity and for someone who is really for the people and only that, then I couldn't vote at all.

Based on the above points, I can say that I am open to voting for a felon. Some additional considerations would be the type of crime committed, a change in behavior (the person has stopped committing crimes and has shown to be law abiding citizen), and it would also depend on their policies. Personally, hush money of false records for Trump's business is not something that would keep me from voting for him, esp. if he's a first-time offender. My biggest barrier voting for him would be that he would seek revenge and engage in Lawfare against his opponents.
 
Here's some interesting data on Independents and Trump's guilty verdict from ABC news:
Among independents, 16% said Trump's guilty verdict makes them more likely to vote for him, but 26% said it made them less likely to vote for him. Fifty-eight percent said the conviction would not influence their likelihood of voting for Trump.
Among independents, 52% said they believed Trump should end his 2024 presidential campaign
Overall, 72% of Republicans, 6% of Democrats and 23% of independents have a favorable view of Trump following his conviction.

It's tricky to gauge the impact here when it comes to if Trump's verdict will hurt him amongst independents. I know 100% of independents would not vote for Trump even if he was never convicted of anything. In 2016 presidential election, 43% of independents voted for Trump. Can any of the data above tell us if he lost some of that support that he had in 2016?

Based on the data so far, it seems he's really only lost about 26% of the independent vote but I wonder if these independents would've ever voted for him anyway. That still leaves Trump with 74% of independents who are open to voting for him so that leaves room for him to get about the same percentage of the independent vote as he did in 2016.

Bottom line is that the hush money trial had little impact on independents when it comes to how they view Trump which is in line with my view.