By, Susan Kuebler
No doubt about it, the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump will be one for the history books. He managed to lie and insult his way through the primaries to win the GOP nomination with only about 36% of support from GOP voters. Some claim that much of this support came from Democrats voting in open primaries. Regardless, he won the nomination.
Since that event in July, 2016 his support has remained roughly in the 36 to 40% range. This despite his many missteps along the way, which we who have followed this election closely are all too aware of. Trump even made the statement he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not lose any voters. If the polls are any indication, he is right.
But you don’t win Presidential elections with such low numbers, especially when they are coupled with his stratospheric unfavorability ratings. He is trailing badly among Hispanics, Blacks, Asians, college-educated men, and most women. No doubt the strategists at the RNC figured out a long time ago that his only viable option to capture the White House was through gaining support among uncommitted, independent voters, and any disgruntled Democrats he could woo away from the Clinton campaign. Unfortunately for him, Clinton is facing similar issues within her own party and is actively courting the independents and women GOP voters.
While trailing Clinton is most major polls since the middle of September, the gap hasn’t been insurmountable. He’s done well in some swing states such as Ohio and North Carolina. But the question remains: is 36 to 40 % his base, or is It his ceiling?
He needs desperately to win the uncommitted voters. Especially the women. But with this Friday Night Massacre release of tapes that demonstrate his calculated, complete disrespect for women, all his hopes disappeared. Perhaps it is apt that the candy Tic Tac has become symbolic of this debacle. Because it was the Tic Tac voters, the white, middle-class women, that he needed, and that he lost.
The unendorsements, the disavowals by leading Republicans will hurt him, some. But not nearly so much as with the independent, uncommitted women who now can see him for who he truly is. His base will remain firmly loyal. But that is all he can hope for, and come November 8th, it simply will not be enough.