How badly will The Donald be tanking on election day as a result of the Access Hollywood tapes released in Friday’s October Surprise? Normally these things take a while to shake out, but Politico teamed up with Morning Consult and got on the phones as soon as the news swept like wildfire across the MSM. In a sample taken starting Friday evening, the polling outfit found that if there’s any shift in Trump’s support, it’s too small to mention. He lost one entire point after the explosive revelation. (Morning Consult)
Trump’s numbers remained stable thanks to the loyalty of the Republican base, a fact that could give pause to party leaders considering publicly abandoning the nominee. Nearly three-quarters of Republicans say the leaders of the GOP should stand by Trump, compared to 40 percent of voters overall who say Republican leaders should stay with their nominee. Forty-one percent of Republicans say they would be more likely to support a candidate who continues to back Trump…
The stability of Republican support for Trump comes even as voters say they have an overwhelmingly negative view of the video. Sixty-one percent said they had a less favorable view of Trump after watching the video, including 48 percent of Republicans. That dichotomy could be explained by how many Republicans viewed Trump’s comments as mirroring how men generally talk in private. Republicans were more than twice as likely as Democrats to say most men talk like Trump in private, 67 percent to 31 percent. Independent voters were split, with 46 percent saying most men talked as Trump did in private.
For a visual representation, you can see that while there may have been a measurable shift if you peer at the trend lines closely enough, it’s too small to break the margin of error.
Granted, we’ll need to give the rest of the major polling outfits time to gather larger samples and let the news sink in even further. Plus, how Trump handles it at tonight’s debate will be a factor as well. But at least for the time being, this is looking like more of a tremor than a seismic shift in our political tectonic plates. A one point swing over the course of a week not only fails to convey a major collapse, it’s less than the normal churn you see from week to week when there’s been nothing really groundbreaking in the news. You can generate a single point gain or slide in a given week just by having a few people leave their cell phones in the car.
Since Politico was involved in this, they immediately weighed in with their own interpretation and it’s not far off from mine.
A wave of Republican officials abandoned Donald Trump on Saturday, but, at least for now, rank-and-file Republicans are standing by the party’s presidential candidate, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll conducted immediately after audio was unearthed Friday that had the GOP nominee crudely bragging about groping women and trying to lure a married woman into an affair.
Overall, fewer than four-in-10 voters — 39 percent — think Trump should end his presidential campaign, while only slightly more voters, 45 percent, think he should not drop out.
But voters are largely viewing Trump’s comments through their own partisan lens: 70 percent of Democrats say Trump should end his campaign, but just 12 percent of Republicans — and 13 percent of female Republicans — agree.
While it’s much less methodical, CBS did a quick flash poll in Ohio and a few other states where they found that more than 90% of supporters don’t find the tape to be changing their opinions. As I said, two days is a rather shaky window for Trump to hang his hat on, even in a political market which can go up in flames on a moment’s notice. The news cycle can turn on a dime, but polling is a comparatively cumbersome process which takes time to solidify and remains an approximation of trends on the best of days when looking at a single sample. Still, if this video was actually the game changing event being advertised yesterday, one might expect to see something of a shift while the sound track was still ringing in our ears.
I suggested the possibility earlier today and for the time being I’m sticking to the same cautious approach. You might wish that the Democrats had finally found a house to drop on Trump’s head like the Wicked Witch of the East, but he may just plow through this media feast and keep driving toward the goal line. This race isn’t over until the voters say it’s over, folks, despite any early pronouncements on cable news.