With all the uproar about the “Bus Tape,” a lot of Republicans have condemned and even un-endorsed Donald Trump. Party officials have even been meeting to see if they can, or should, replace him on the ticket. As they say, “it’s always darkest before the dawn,” and for Trump, this may be “Morning in America.” A flash poll says that the party faithful is standing behind Trump, no matter what the “leaders” say.
Politico is reporting a brand new Morning Consult poll.
A wave of Republican officials abandoned Donald Trump on Saturday, but, at least for now, rank-and-file Republicans are standing by the party’s presidential candidate, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll conducted immediately after audio was unearthed Friday that had the GOP nominee crudely bragging about groping women and trying to lure a married woman into an affair.
Overall, fewer than four-in-10 voters — 39 percent — think Trump should end his presidential campaign, while only slightly more voters, 45 percent, think he should not drop out.
But voters are largely viewing Trump’s comments through their own partisan lens: 70 percent of Democrats say Trump should end his campaign, but just 12 percent of Republicans – and 13 percent of female Republicans — agree. [Emphasis added]
As of now, GOP voters largely want the party to stand behind Trump. Nearly three-quarters of Republican voters, 74 percent, surveyed on Saturday said party officials should continue to support Trump. Only 13 percent think the party shouldn’t back him. . .
A 74-percent majority of all voters had a negative reaction to the video – including 47 percent who said their feelings were a zero (very negative). But there’s a partisan element to voters’ reactions to the video: 69 percent of Democratic voters said they had a very negative impression after watching it, but only 22 percent of Republicans gave it a zero rating. Ten percent of Republicans said the video gave them a positive feeling. [Emphasis added]
An even sharper partisan dynamic exists when voters were asked whether the video gives them a more or less favorable impression of Trump. Among all voters, 61 percent say it makes them feel either somewhat or much less favorable toward Trump, while 28 percent say it doesn’t affect their view of Trump; 8 percent said it makes them feel more favorably toward Trump. [Emphasis added]
The poll shows surprising strength for Trump, and justifies his immediate comment that he wouldn’t quit—because he has “tremendous support.” But it goes beyond that. The Republican faithful may even punish candidates who turn their backs on Trump, according to the Politico article.
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. . .
More than three-quarters of Republicans, 78 percent, say Trump shouldn’t end his campaign. And more independents, 44 percent, say Trump should stay in the race, compared with only 35 percent who think he should drop out.
There has also been a bit of a backlash among celebrities and politicians. An aide to Trump surrogate Ben Carson, says the “bus tape” is no big deal—that it’s what we hear in rap music all the time.
Armstrong Williams told Business Insider on Saturday afternoon. “No one listening to that tape in media and political life has not heard it before.”. . .
“This is a very forgiving nation,” Williams said. “They’re willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. You’ve just got to learn from it.”. . .
“I think all the American people want to see is humility, remorse, and that he’s learning,” Williams said. “They’ve shown all along that they’re willing to forgive him for just about anything. And this is no exception.”
Carson, himself, is also stepping up to support Trump. In fact, Carson blames Hillary.
Former Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson told Newsmax Saturday that Donald Trump is the victim of a vicious smear campaign by Democrats and liberal media and urged Republicans to stand by their candidate. . .
“I’m not seeing anything that I didn’t totally expect,” Carson said. “The political class and the media has to make this about Donald Trump. They cannot make this about the issues.
“They’re getting desperate because they’re seeing the crowds that Trump is attracting. They see the enthusiasm gap between the candidates and they know how that’s going to translate on Election Day. Their goal is now is to dribble out all of these things like this tape.
“This won’t be the last thing by the way.” [Emphasis added]
Hollywood actors are also coming to the aid of Trump. On Fox News actor Jon Voight responded to Robert DeNiro’s comment that he’d like to “punch Trump in the face.” Voight says Trump’s “bus tape” comments are perfectly normal.
“Midnight Cowboy” star Voight, who has supported several Republican politicians over the years, said on Twitter that Trump’s remarks to “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush in 2005 “were not as damaging as Robert DeNiro’s [sic] ugly rant. Trump’s words did not hurt anyone.” [Emphasis added]
Voight also said of the recorded comments, which were first disclosed by The Washington Post Friday, “I don’t know of too many men who haven’t expressed some sort of similar sexual terms toward women, especially in their younger years.” [Emphasis added]
It should be noted that Trump was 59 in 2005, when he “expressed some sort of sexual terms toward women.” It reminds one of the expression, “youthful indiscretion” that Henry Hyde used to explain his extramarital affair with a married woman at the exact time when he was spearheaded Bill Clinton’s impeachment. The “youthful” Hyde was 45 at the time of the affair.
One of Trump’s most important supporters is his running mate, Mike Pence. If Pence were to turn on Trump, Pence would likely rise to be the presidential candidate.
Fox News has been working overtime in defending Trump this weekend. Bill O’Reilly dismissed Trump’s comments as just “crude guy talk.”
Fox’s Sean Hannity was even more aggressive, saying it’s normal for male leaders to use women.
Sean Hannity, 54, weighed in to defend the GOP presidential nominee by having a meltdown on Twitter and television.
Hannity explains that “King David had 500 concubines for crying out loud.”
Probably the most powerful excuse the Republicans have was offered by a most surprising source: 1980s actor Scott Baio.
BAIO: I like Trump because Trump is not a politician. He talks like a guy. And ladies out there, this is what guys talk about when you’re not around. So if you’re offended by it, grow up, OK? And by the way, this is what you guys talk about over white wine when you have your brunches. So take it easy with your faux outrage. This is the way the world works. It’s not a big thing.
OOPS (with apologies to Rick Perry). . .That’s not the quote we were looking for. This one is:
Baio began by saying, “I think 11 years ago Trump was a Democrat so doesn’t he deserve a pass? Just throwing that out there.”
That’s the line Republicans should be using: that Trump was a Democrat at the time when he was offensive. Well, really offensive. . .