After a 2005 recording of Donald Trump making lewd comments about women emerged on Friday, 63 percent of likely voters said they do not think the Republican nominee respects women, according to the latest NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll. In the four days the poll was in the field prior to the revelation of Trump’s comments on Friday, 55 percent of likely voters said they did not think he respects women.
The poll was conducted online from October 3 through 9 in the week prior to the second presidential debate. The question regarding Trump’s respect for women was fielded the entire week, but the opinions were analyzed before and after the tape surfaced on Friday.
Republican Party leaders and Trump surrogates were already on the defensive after the first presidential debate last month, in which Hillary Clinton called out the GOP nominee for his remarks about former Miss Universe Alicia Machado’s appearance. Clinton also drew attention to Trump’s harsh rhetoric toward women in general.
Trump’s perception among women voters suffered in the polls as a result—and the most recent remarks have caused several prominent GOP elites to speak out about Trump’s degrading statements and revoke their endorsements of the nominee altogether.
Before the recording was made public, 64 percent of likely women voters said they did not think Trump respects women. After the recording was made public, 69 percent of women said they did not think Trump respects women, including 53 percent who said he does not respect women at all.
Though a large number of women voters have favored Clinton throughout the campaign—especially in the wake of the first debate—more men have generally favored Trump. After the video surfaced Friday, however, men’s attitudes regarding Trump and women swung even more than it did among women.
Prior to the recording’s release on Friday, 45 percent of likely men voters said they do not think Trump respects women. After the recording was made public, however, that number jumped 10 points to 55 percent. Men have been a core constituency for Trump, and his 2005 statements have affected their view of how the Republican nominee treats women significantly.
Overall, Clinton now leads Trump in a four-way match-up by 5 points—46 percent to 41 percent—with Johnson at 8 percent and Stein at 3 percent. These numbers include all responses collected prior to the remarks on Friday, and were tabulated just prior to the second presidential debate on Sunday night. The open question is how this event changes national and state by state support for Trump next week.
Half of likely voters—50 percent—said they have heard or have been following coverage of the 2005 tape of Trump making inappropriate comments about women “a lot.” An additional 30 percent of likely voters said they’ve heard or have been following “some” coverage. This number is likely to grow after the presidential debate Sunday night.
Just under four in 10 likely voters said the 2005 tape makes them less likely to vote for Trump. The same share of likely voters (39 percent) said Trump should drop out of the presidential race because of his comments. A majority (59 percent) said he should not drop out of the race (questions about Trump’s comments made public were asked of respondents in our tracking poll from Saturday, October 8 to Sunday, October 9).
Though there has been negative backlash from party elites across the aisle, most Republicans and Republican-leaning likely voters (81 percent) said Trump’s 2005 comments make no difference to their vote. Sixty-five percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning likely voters said the 2005 tape makes them less likely to vote for Trump. Among Independent likely voters, 31 percent said the tape makes them less likely to vote for Trump.
Twelve percent of likely Republican voters said Trump should drop out of the race because of his 2005 comments. In stark contrast, 64 percent of Democratic likely voters said he should drop out. Three in 10 Independent voters think he should drop out of the presidential race.
All eyes will look to see how this latest string of comments–and second debate performances—will shift the landscape of the 2016 presidential race with potential down ballot effects.