Home World News/International Politics/Diplomacy Donald Trump..woman problem just got much, much, much worse

Donald Trump..woman problem just got much, much, much worse

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, in Prescott Valley, Ariz. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Donald Trump had a problem with female voters before today. But, in the wake of a recording of Trump making a series of lewd comments about women going public, that problem is likely to get even worse.

First reported by WaPo’s David Fahrenthold, the tape details a conversation between Trump and Billy Bush, then a host of the show “Access Hollywood,” in 2005. Trump repeatedly talks about his prowess with women and the techniques that he uses to get them. One example: “I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married,” Trump says. “Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.” (We won’t quote the whole thing here, but you should read David’s full story.)

So. Well. Okay.

It doesn’t take a veteran political handicapper to realize that comments like these — in which women are treated as objects and playthings — would be deeply harmful to any presidential candidate’s efforts to court women — and men, for that matter. (Trump dismissed the conversation as “locker room banter” that happened years ago, in a statement from his campaign.)

But this story is even more problematic for Trump, who already has massive problems among women — thanks in large part to well-publicized comments he has made over the years in which he described various females as “dogs” and “fat pigs.” Trump clashed with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly in 2015 and was quoted as suggesting she was mean to him because she had “blood coming out of her wherever” — an apparent reference to her menstrual cycle. In recent days, Trump has feuded with former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, whom he described as “disgusting” and insinuated she had appeared in a “sex tape.” (It wasn’t a sex tape.)

Here’s what Trump’s numbers looked like in an August Washington Post-ABC News poll that asked whether respondents thought he was biased against women and minorities.

 

Pay particular attention to the number of women who believe that Trump is biased against women and minorities in that chart above; more than half of women said that they felt that way strongly.

Republican women have been, on average, six points more pro-Hillary Clinton than Republican men in the margin of their support in a head-to-head matchup with Trump. But, the gap among women becomes stark when you look at independent women, who have been 29 points more pro-Clinton than independent men. That’s a stunning number, and one that is likely to get wider, not narrower, in the wake of these latest revelations.

It’s also important to remember that women have been a majority of the vote in every presidential election since 1980. In 2012, women made up 53 percent of the electorate, and President Obama won them by 10 points over Mitt Romney. Women made up 53 percent of the electorate in 2008, with Obama beating John McCain by 13 points.

Trump’s situation with female voters is made all the more complicated because he is running against Clinton, the first woman ever to win a major-party presidential nomination.

On Friday, Clinton reacted to the news of the video by saying:

The historic element of Clinton’s campaign has, to date, not been a major topic of debate, but it could well become one in the very near future.

Speaking of that near future, the second presidential debate of the general election is set for Sunday night. While the debate is a town hall with the questions mostly being asked by audience members, you can bet that the moderators will make sure this is the first question asked of Trump.

The response that Trump offered The Post — “locker room banter” — won’t, or, at least, shouldn’t, be good enough. Trump needs to be ready to explain why he (or anyone) would talk like this about women and what it says about how he really feels about them. And he’s not starting from a good spot. At all.

Trump’s problems among female voters — particularly college-educated white women living in the suburbs — had already made his path to the White House unlikely. These latest revelations badly complicate even that narrow path.

By Chris Cillizza and Philip Bump

Wpost

 

RELATED ARTICLE:

Donald Trump’s remarkably gross comments about women

Some thoughts on the significance, moral and political, of Donald Trump’s recorded comments about women — what parts of them he likes, and what parts his star power enables him to grab at will:

First — and this is in no way to diminish the offensiveness of Trump’s remarks — let’s guard against being terribly shocked, shocked, that there is sexist, and sexual, commentary going on in private, or what fools like Trump assume is private despite the unfortunate fact that they are miked up.

When Trump describes his remarks as “locker room banter,” and contends that “Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course,” that does not seem in any way out of the realm of possibility. Boys are boys, even when they’re supposed to be grown men. And while I’ve never been one, I have some clue about how some of them talk when they think the girls aren’t listening.

At the same time, Trump’s comments are remarkable for their grossness, in particular for the way they fuse sexual availability and celebrity entitlement. He is interested not only in commenting on women’s attributes, but in how his power allows him to conduct himself.

“Just kiss. I don’t even wait,” Trump tells Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush. “And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. … Grab them by the p—y. You can do anything.” This is not merely demeaning women by objectifying them; it is demeaning women by reveling in being able to control and dominate them, or at least preening and pretending that he can. There is a major difference between assessing whether a flat-chested woman can be a ten, and talking in terms of unwanted touching, if not outright sexual assault.

“Grab them by the p—y.” I covered the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings, and the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky impeachment proceedings, and I still cannot believe I am typing this sentence about a candidate for president of the United States, or that you will be able to read it, even in redacted form, in The Washington Post.

Though some of the cable commentary has noted the remarkable phenomenon of something approaching an apology emanating from Trump himself, the sorry-if-anyone-was-offended nature of the phrasing is entirely inadequate to the language at issue. Is there someone who would not find his comments offensive? If Trump himself cannot acknowledge that this kind of language is beyond the pale of acceptable, he needs a good talking to from Ivanka.

This was not Trump, as he lamely argued earlier in the week, talking sexist for the cameras. This was Trump being Trump. If, as he continually insists, “there’s nobody that has more respect for women than I do,” we’re all in big trouble.

To imagine how men talk behind closed doors, to know the kinds of things that Trump has said in the past, is one thing. Hearing a tape like this — hearing it over and over again, as I have on cable since the story broke a few hours ago — and think about this man becoming the president of the United States is another.

Trump has bragged that he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and his supporters would stay loyal. Now we get to find out.

Wpost

 

 

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