By Rachel Fergus.
The Trump campaign and the entire Republican Party is spinning, with less than four weeks left for the election (November 8th). The party and Trump are trying to regain balance after this week’s numerous reports of women coming forward and accusing Donald Trump of sexual assault. This was after the video from 2005 (where Trump bragged of kissing and touching women without their consent) was released.
While the video suggested and condoned sexual assault, the candidate and his party reassured America over and over again that it was just “locker room talk” and that these words had never been acted on. Now, however, numerous women have publicized encounters they had with Mr. Trump, all shockingly similar to what the candidate bragged about to Billy Bush of NBC in the video from 2005. A few of the most recent reports are:
- Jessica Leeds saying Trump touched her inappropriately and tried to kiss her while on a plane 36 years ago.
- Rachel Cooks, a receptionist for another company in Trump Tower in 2005, reported the candidate kissed her on the cheeks and then on the mouth without her consent.
- Natasha Stoynoff, a writer for People, reported Trump kissed her against her will while she was covering Donald and Melania’s one-year anniversary in 2005.
It should be noted that this is not an exhaustive list of all the women who have said Trump sexually assaulted them at some point in their life. These accusations have also had a dramatic effect on the 2016 presidential election. According to an article in The Wall Street Journal published October 10, 2016,
Mrs. Clinton jumped to an 11-point lead over Mr. Trump, 46% to 35%, among likely voters on a ballot including third-party candidates, up from 6 percentage points in September, when the split was 43% to 37% in a four-way contest.
The polling data also includes responses to Trump’s video statements. According to The Wall Street Journal’s analysis of the poll, 32% of Americans believe “This tape is from 10 years ago, long before Donald Trump was running for president, he has apologized for its content, and this should not be an issue in this campaign”. Meanwhile, 44 percent of Americans strongly disagree with this statement.
When it comes to Republican candidates running for office, 39 percent of voters believe the Republicans should support Trump, 67 percent of Republicans think Congress candidates should support Trump, and 15 percent of Democrats believe those running for Congress should support Trump. This controversy over who should and should not support Trump has begun to divide an already fractured party. Granted, there have been Republicans that refused to back their candidate from the beginning of his run but the list continues to grow. A few notable names that will not be voting for Trump this November are:
- Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State
- Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House.
- John Kasich, Governor of Ohio and presidential candidate who lost to Trump in the GOP primary.
- John McCain, Senator of Arizona and 2008 Republican nominee.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Governor of California and well known actor.
- Carly Florina, former candidate for Republican nomination.
- Jeb Bush, previously governor of Florida and candidate for Republican nomination.
- Mitt Romney, 2012 Republican nominee.
Along with this small sample of Republican politicians not voting for Trump, the five living men who have held/hold the office of President of the United States (Jimmy Carter, Bush Senior, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama) all denounce Donald Trump.
Though being denounced by numerous leaders of one’s party is harmful to the race to the White House, Trump’s continual name-calling of other Republican politicians and the party, as a whole, is jarring.
“Paul Ryan should spend more time on balancing the budget, jobs and illegal immigration and not waste his time on fighting Republican nominee” – Twitter, October 10th, 2016.
“Despite winning the second debate in a landslide (every poll), it is hard to do well when Paul Ryan and others give zero support!” –twitter, October 11th, 2016.
“Our very weak and ineffective leader, Paul Ryan, had a bad conference call where his members went wild at is disloyalty.” –Twitter, October 11th, 2016.
“With the exception of cheating Bernie out of the nom the Dems have always proven to be far more loyal to each other than the Republicans!” –Twitter, October 11th, 2016.
“The very foul mouthed Sen. John McCain begged for my support during his primary (I gave, he won), then dropped me over locker room remarks!” Twitter, October 11th, 2016.
“It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to.” Twitter, October 11th, 2016. The “shackles” are the Republican Party.
What do Donald Trump and the Republican Party do now? With the data from The Wall Street Journal poll, Republicans politicians at every level need to decide how they will either align with or rebuke Trump. While 67 percent of Republicans say the Republican politicians should continue to support Trump as the nominee, 23 percent say “they no longer can support Trump as the nominee” or “call on Trump to drop out of the presidential race”. Then there are undecided and traditionally Democratic voters Republican politicians are fighting to win. Only 39% of all voters continue to support Trump as the nominee. So, how does a Republican running for Senate appeal to conservative Republicans, and at the same time non-decided and Democratic voters?
This thin line all Republican Politicians must walk, between appealing to the traditional Republican base and more liberal voters becomes more and more difficult as more allegations against Trump appear in the media. For example, on Wednesday, October 12, 2016, a federal Judge ordered Trump and his lawyers to appear in court (December 16, 2016) for a hearing. This hearing is for the allegations “Jane Doe” made against Trump, saying he raped her in 2008 when she was thirteen years old.
The tweets against Paul Ryan and John McCain, women coming out and reporting Trump sexually assaulted them, and the ordered court date all took place in the course of one week. With just over three weeks before Election Day, who knows what will happen between then and now for Trump and the entire Republican Party.
This caricature of Donald Trump was adapted from a Creative Commons licensed image from Gage Skidmore’s Flickr photo stream. This caricature of Marco Rubio was adapted from a photo in the public domain from Wikipedia. This caricature of Ted Cruz was adapted from a Creative Commons licensed photo from Michael Vadon’s Flickr photo stream. This caricature of Ben Carson was adapted from a Creative Commons licensed photo from Michael Vadon’s Flickr photo stream. This caricature of Carly Fiorina was adapted from a Creative Commons licensed photo from Gage Skidmore’s Flickr photo stream. This caricature of Jeb Bush was adapted from a Creative Commons licensed photo from the The World Affairs Council’s Flickr photo stream. This caricature of Chris Christie was adapted from a photo in the public domain from FEMA. This caricature of John Kasich of Ohio was adapted from a photo in the public domain available via Wikipedia.
This image was originally posted to Flickr by DonkeyHotey at http://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/23474955300 . The image has been licensed for fair use by the creator under the Creative Commons licence – Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) . No changes have been made.