(Photo: iStockPhoto; Wikimedia Commons; Taylor Le/Pacific Standard)
The opening question in tonight’s debate asked each candidate whether they feel they’ve been modeling good behavior in these debates. “I began this campaign because I was so tired seeing such foolish things happen to our country,” began Donald Trump. He ought to know.
During the last debate, we wondered whether Trump might be able to close the so-called temperament gap. The answer is no. Not with the barrage of bombshells that continue to drop about the Republican candidate every week. Since the previous go-round, we’ve learned that Trump a.) avoided paying taxes for nearly two decades; b.) treats women maybe even worse than we thought; and c.) appeared in a soft-core porn video. Not surprisingly, these revelations have destroyed Trump’s chances of winning the White House.
More than 40 percent of respondents in a just-released poll by ABC News and SSRS said Trump should drop out of the race. Fifty-three percent said they were less likely to support Trump after viewing his leaked video, compared to the 46 percent who claimed it wouldn’t affect their voting habits. Now, this poll did not include existing voter preferences, so it could be that a sizable chunk of that 46 percent simply weren’t in favor of Trump to begin with.
In a McClatchy/Marist poll of likely voters released on September 23rd, 44 percent of likely voters felt Trump was “honest and trustworthy,” compared to just 36 percent for Hillary Clinton. And another ABC News/SSRS poll, released just prior to the Washington Post’s story on the video, found 60 percent said they are “very worried” about the future of the United States in the event of a Trump presidency. (Here Clinton scored comparatively better, at 39 percent.)
While Clinton’s numbers may not necessarily go up here—she’s long had difficulty gaining voters’ trust—it’ll be fun, in a grim way, to see how Trump emerges from this myriad of scandals.