On the scale of sexual misconduct by recent presidents, Trump certainly falls short of Bill Clinton, who carried on with an intern and probably groped another woman in the Oval Office, and John F. Kennedy, who used the White House secretarial pool as his sexual playthings. But Trump’s past conduct, based on his own boastful accounts alone, was gross and unworthy.
Trump is almost certainly operating on a version of the same implicit bargain from voters as Bill Clinton got in 1992: We know what kind of guy you are, but we’re electing you anyway, assuming you won’t be stupid enough to continue to behave this way in the White House. Clinton exploded this arrangement by having a dalliance with Monica Lewinsky and lying about it under oath.
Absent a similar scandal, Trump’s conduct with women won’t truly become a live issue again. Although he clearly knows his own vulnerabilities, which is why he is so vested in the denials of other men accused of misconduct.