Over the past 48 hours, influential Republicans have greeted the latest batch of lewd, misogynistic remarks from their party’s standard-bearer, Donald Trump, with a mixture of belated revulsion and resistance, prompting withdrawals of support and renewed calls for him to quit the presidential race. However, it would appear that rank-and-file GOP voters are, once again, rejecting these calls from their party’s elites, and are prepared to stick by Trump’s side, at least for now.
Those are the findings of the latest Politico/Morning Consult poll, the first of its kind to attempt to gauge the public impact of Trump’s now-infamous commentary about women with Billy Bush, who was then at “Access Hollywood.” This new poll found that while nearly three-quarters of all respondents had a negative reaction to hearing these remarks, there was a distinctly “partisan element” to the respondents’ reactions.
According to Politico, after watching a video of Trump’s remarks, “10 percent of Republicans said the video gave them a positive feeling,” while only 22 percent of GOP respondents rated the video a “zero (very negative).” In terms of favorability, “just 48 percent of GOP voters said it makes them feel less favorably toward Trump, while 36 percent said it doesn’t affect their opinions.”
But the most important finding seems to be that GOP voters do not want Trump to quit the race. Per Politico:
“As soon as the news broke, we designed a survey that not only tested voter opinion on Trump’s comments, but also allowed more than 1,500 voters to react in real time to the video and his apology,” said Morning Consult co-founder and Chief Research Officer Kyle Dropp. “The results show that nearly all voters have heard about the video and most rate it negatively, but Trump’s supporters are not abandoning him right away.”
But not only do three-quarters of Republican voters want the party to stand behind Trump, there’s a potential warning in the data for GOP officeholders like Sen. Kelly Ayotte (N.H.), who announced Saturday she wouldn’t vote for him: Fewer than a third of voters are willing to give greater consideration to a candidate who un-endorses Trump.
It’s one more example of how in this cycle, all of the influence that establishment Republicans have sought to bring to bear on the presidential election has so far come to naught.
Jason Linkins edits “Eat The Press” for The Huffington Post and co-hosts the HuffPost Politics podcast “So, That Happened.” Subscribe here, and listen to the latest episode below.