Donald Trump may be free from the “shackles” of the Republican party establishment, but he has fallen behind Hillary Clinton according to a several new polls released in the wake of Trump’s obscene comments about sexually assaulting women.
Clinton now leads Trump by an average margin of six percentage points, according to the Real Clear Politics (RCP) average of major polls.
And according to the FiveThirtyEight election tracker, Clinton has an 86 per cent chance of winning the White House, compared to Trump’s 14 per cent odds. This is a significant swing from just over two weeks ago when Trump had a 45 per cent chance of winning the presidency compared to Clinton’s 55 per cent chance.
While it’s still early to gauge what effect the now infamous Trump tapes are having on the minds of voters, one national tracking poll that began shortly after Sunday night’s second presidential debate showed 1 in 5 Republicans saying his comments about groping women disqualify him from the presidency.
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The Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll also found that 45 per cent of likely voters said they supported Clinton while 37 per cent supported Trump. Another 18 per cent said they would not support either candidate.
Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Global Public Affairs, said it’s the combination of his recorded comments about women and his response to the scandal that he dismissed as “locker-room talk” that have taken the momentum out of his campaign.
However, Bricker says Trump’s poll numbers actually started to slide following the first presidential debate and the negative reaction to his disparaging comments during the debate about former Miss Universe Alicia Machado and a report from The New York Times that suggested Trump hadn’t paid federal income tax in nearly two decades.
“Prior to the first debate he had actually been pretty competitive and the race was actually quite close,” he said. “It would be incorrect to say it was just the tapes.”
Indeed, the RCP average from Sept. 19 showed Clinton and Trump were nearly dead even before the Democratic candidate jumped out to a more than six point lead.
Trump has also begun a war against GOP leaders after they distanced themselves from him following the release of the 2005 video in which he described groping and kissing women without their consent.
The rapidly growing list of Republicans who have turned away from Trump, include House Speaker Paul Ryan who said he would no longer defend Trump or make campaign appearances.
The Manhattan businessman responded on Twitter Tuesday saying “It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to.”
“His strategy is to treat this as a war on all elites, not just the elites of the Democratic party but everybody associated with Washington,” said Bricker. “I don’t think this is good at all for the Republican party and they are setting themselves up for a historic drubbing.”
Looking at the key swing states needed for either candidate to win the presidency, polls show Clinton with a nine-point lead in Pennsylvania and smaller leads in North Carolina and Florida. And a new poll shows Clinton with a nine-point lead over Trump in Ohio.
Trump could also be in trouble in several historic red states like Arizona, Mississippi, and Georgia which have long traditions for voting for Republicans.
A new poll released Tuesday also found that Utah, which has never elected a Democrat, is split evenly at 26 per cent among voters for Trump and Clinton with Evan McMullin, a Mormon former CIA officer who is running for the presidency as an independent conservative, surging to 22 per cent.