Trump’s denigration of women–a Trumpoclypse? Part 1, Monday 10-110, Part 2 an eon later, i.e., four days slater, 10-13
Part 1, Monday, Oct. 10
My daughter Lisa, whom I often use as a sounding board, was outraged, to put it mildly, over Trump’s latest denigration of women. This time, she said in an exchange of e-mails, ‘Trump has crossed so far over the line that,he’s “toast.” No possibility of recovering from this. Of course she was referring to the vulgarities and outright hostility towards women that poured out of Trump’s own mouth in tapes released Friday. From Trump’s distorted perspective, it was nothing more than “locker room” talk. Many, however, agreed with Senator Tim Kaine’s assessment that “The tape raises an awful lot of questions … a pattern of assaultive behavior, not just words.” Actually, when Trump averred that as a celebrity he could “move-in” on just about any “hot chick” and “grab her pu–y,” he was advocating sexual assault. No minor locker-room banter, he was talking about committing a felonious act. At the least, he was vulgarly objectifying women. Think about your mother, sisters, daughters, and wife–well wives, three of them in Donald Trump’s case. I don’t know about you dear readers, but if a Donald Trump cornered one of my daughters and groped their you-know-what, there would be one battered Donald limping around. It’s not an isolated bit of boy’s talk. It was also revealed that he talked about trading wives, or significant others, in on newer (younger) models, at age 35. He even grunted his assent when Howard Stern asked if it was okay to describe his daughter Ivanka as a “piece of ass.” I can’t imagine a much more disgusting human being. But, does it mean that his campaign is over?
Not so quick. I’m a data person and I want to see what they show when the dust settles in a week or two. As of Monday the 10th, the polls give hints of my daughter’s Trumpoclypse. Many Republicans are more or less jumping Donald’s ship. But notably most are not saying they’ll vote for Hillary. Speaker Paul Ryan hasn’t said that he wouldn’t vote for Trump, but he has urged other Republicans up for re-election to forget Donald and fend for themselves. As for himself, he is cancelling any plans to campaign for Donald and will concentrate on electing fellow party members as the once unthinkable possibility of a Democratic sweep of both houses looms a distinct possibility.
Back to the polls. The two revolving three-day polls of the same sample of voters are at variance. Rasmussen, with a noticeable Republican bent, nonetheless shows Hillary with a 7 point lead. On Friday, she led by only 1 point. Yet the L.A. Times-USC polls, on Monday, Oct. 10 shows Trump up by 3 points–an increase in one over the past week. The first of the regular sampled polls designed to reveal “likely voter” choices that was taken since the revelations on Friday, the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, shows Hillary with an enormous jump to up 11 points over The Donald (14 if just a head-to-head race). It should be noted that their poll was completed prior to Sunday night’s debate. The effects on voter’s choices is not yet known. A word of caution, we’ve had spikes in the poll results before that didn’t last more than a few weeks.
So, yes, Lisa, there is a path to a sweeping victory for Hillary. But based on the fleeting nature of past spikes, and given the almost certain “dirty tricks” that Donald Trump will adopt, we simply have to see more poll results over the next two weeks to be sure. In presidential campaigns, sex scandals don’t seem to have legs. Also, a lot of attention is given to not “peaking to early,” and this little bump is a bit too early in the final stretch run to be overconfident. Don’t forget that about 80 percent of the voters have their minds made up, and the game is really about the other 20%, who while now favoring Hillary, have proven to be quite fickle over the past month. The real question is how reliable are their current selections. We will update our post to include current polls on Thursday, Oct. 13 for a hint about that.
By the way, looking a bit deeper than the top-line results of this past week’s polls does reveal one apt result: When asked just prior to the current bruhaha whether one or the other candidate was, by their own words, likely to hurt his or her own candidacy, 10 percent more picked Trump.
Part 2, Thursday,Oct. 13.
Bottom line, Hillary’s bump in the polls over the Trump tapes has fallen quite dramatically over the past three days, suggesting that what I pointed out was the fickle nature of the undecided 20 percent of the voters has proven just that–fickle and fragile. In the Rasmussen rolling 3 day polls, Hillary’s post-tapes lead rose from a deficit of 1 to a lead of 5 points, only to rather drastically pull back today, now giving Trump the lead by 2 points. This suggests that the tapes revelations, like so many “now-he’s-dead” moments before, doesn’t have the legs one might expect. Remember, we are looking only at the change in these polls, not the absolute numbers. Given the fact that 80 percent of voters’ minds are made up (and indeed, 450,000 vote are already in), the changes should be reflective of how the undecided vote is swaying. LA Times/USC now has the race a tie after earlier showing Clinton with a 4 point lead. Most of the regular weekly polls, which don’t focus on the independent voter, still show Hillary with a lead, only that lead has diminished. For example, NBC/Wall St. Journal now has Hillary leading by 9, down from 11 just a day earlier. Fox, however, shows Hillary with a 7 point lead, up from 2 points before the tapes became public.
State polls often reflect moves a bit slower than the national polls. Thus it may prove worthwhile to look at Ohio, a swing state which nevertheless leans slightly Republican in recent national elections, and is considered by most analysts to be a “must win’ state for Trump. The polls in Ohio have yielded up-and-down results over the past several weeks. There are only two major polls for Ohio conducted since the tapes explosion. One shows Trump up by 1, while the other has Clinton on top by 2. Governor Kasich pretty much severed the cord with Trump after the tapes’ revelations. He never was very excited by Trump’s imprudencies, but his latest move might affect a few percent of Ohio’s mainstream Republican voters. Hillary’s gain in Ohio has not yet manifested itself the way it did nationally. I remind everyone, once again, of the importance of late momentum, especially over the final week to ten days. This is simply too early to draw conclusions beyond what is revealed by the polls. While pollsters, and data based analysts, including myself, would urge caution the way the undecideds have shifted around, the London Bookies have no such reservations. Hillary remains close to a 3-1 favorite in their eyes (While they are putting their pocketbooks where their mouths are, it is worthwhile remembering how far off they were on the recent U.K. Brexit vote). But, watch them shift those odds quickly if the polls themselves shift more than a few points one-way or another.