POLITICS

Trump's Lewd Comments Don't Seem To Be Hurting Down-Ballot Republicans

So maybe that rush to finally denounce him did the trick.
Keeping Donald Trump at arm's length might be good for GOP candidates.
Keeping Donald Trump at arm's length might be good for GOP candidates.

Donald Trump’s boasts about sexually assaulting women could be causing him to lose some ground in the polls, but it doesn’t seem to be hurting down-ballot Republican candidates yet.

Trump has declined by 2 percentage points among registered voters, according to YouGov/Economist polls conducted before and after the release of that notorious recording. At the same time, the GOP has seen a 2-point increase in generic House polling, which asks voters which party’s congressional candidate they’d vote for.

Voters in his own party also seem to be targeting their ire at Trump specifically. Among registered GOP voters, Trump has dropped by 4 points, from 85 percent to 81 percent. But the generic down-ballot Republican candidate has seen no change, maintaining 88 percent support.

Polls conducted by Morning Consult and Politico/Morning Consult before and after Friday’s revelations similarly suggest that down-ballot candidates may be insulated from Trump’s fate. 

The generic GOP House candidate is actually up by 4 points among all likely voters and remains stable at 86 percent with likely Republican voters in these polls. Meanwhile, Trump has dropped by 3 points among likely Republican voters.

Unlike the YouGov/Economist polls, however, the Politico/Morning Consult surveys find Trump up by 2 points, a shift that may be attributable to a poll’s random variation. 

That one Morning Consult/Politico result aside, other recent polls indicate a decline for Trump. The HuffPost Pollster charts, which aggregate publicly released polls, also show a small declining trend for the GOP nominee, in both the head-to-head race with Hillary Clinton and polls that include Gary Johnson.

Americans overall are displeased with Trump’s bragging about sexually assaulting women. In a Politico/Morning Consult poll, 47 percent of registered voters rate their feelings about the infamous video as very negative and 17 percent are neutral. Twenty-nine percent rate their feelings somewhere in between very negative and neutral.

An NBC/SurveyMonkey poll finds that 55 percent of likely voters believe that Trump doesn’t respect women and 39 percent say that the video makes them less likely to support Trump in the upcoming election.

It’s still too early to say what the full effect of the video will be on Trump and down-ballot candidates. These latest polls should be viewed with some caution as they were conducted within only a day or two of the video’s release. 

But Republican leaders are taking swift action in an attempt to repel any damage to the party overall. Since last Friday’s revelations, a growing number of lawmakers have denounced Trump’s comments and dropped their support for him.

Prior to Sunday night’s presidential debate, Michael Reagan, the late president’s son, took to Twitter to encourage Republicans to “vote down ballot to save the Country and the Republican Party.” And over the weekend, Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus instructed the RNC to redirect funds away from Trump and toward those down-ballot candidates.

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophoberacist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

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