A new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll conducted after the Republican nominee’s lewd comments went public shows a sharp partisan divide.
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.
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.
Still, Hillary Clinton leads Trump in the four-way race for the White House by four points, 42 percent to 38 percent, with eight percent supporting Gary Johnson, three percent supporting Jill Stein and nine percent undecided. Clinton also leads by four in a two-way race, 45 percent to 41 percent.
Operatives in both parties say they believe it will take several days — and Sunday night’s debate at Washington University in St. Louis — to have the video bake into the public consciousness.
But the new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll is the first scientific survey to gauge voters’ immediate reactions to Trump’s comments. The technology of Morning Consult’s web-panel survey allowed respondents to view both the video in which Trump, off-camera, explicitly describes women who allow him to kiss them and grab their genitals with impunity because of his celebrity – and Trump’s subsequent midnight apology video posted early Saturday morning.
All poll respondents were showed the video in which Trump converses off-camera with then-“Access Hollywood” anchor Billy Bush (coincidentally, a cousin of Trump’s former GOP rival, Jeb Bush). Respondents were asked, following the video, to describe how they felt about the clip, on a scale from zero (very negative) to 10 (very positive), with 5 defined as “neutral.”