Poll after poll shows a widening of the electoral gender-gap in the less than a week since Donald Trump's 2005 boasts about groping women were unearthed and subsequently splashed non-stop across cable news, including during the second presidential debate last Sunday. U.S. women across the country are indicating that no matter if men's support for Trump is steady, female voters could spike the election out of his reach.
Nate Silver posted a roundup of recent polls last night. In a dozen national polls conducted since the start of October, Hillary Clinton leads by an average of 15 percentage points with women and Donald Trump leads by an average of 5 percentage points among men.
Clinton's lead among women is consistent throughout the polls, ranging from a relatively small 6 percentage points in one to a 33 percentage point lead among women in the most recent poll from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) and The Atlantic (in the same poll, Clinton trailed Trump by 11 points with men). Clinton also led among men in three of the national national polls, by a range of 2 to 5 percentage points. Trump led among men in nine of the 12 polls, by margins ranging from 2 to 14 percentage points.
"It seems fair to say that, if Trump loses the election, it will be because women voted against him," Silver concluded.
I took a look at how men and women split their votes four years ago, according to polls conducted in November 2012. On average, Mitt Romney led President Obama by 7 percentage points among men, about the same as Trump's 5-point lead among men now. But Romney held his own among women, losing them by 8 points, whereas they're going against Trump by 15 points. That's the difference between a close election — as you'll remember, those national polls in late 2012 showed the race neck-and-neck3 — and one that's starting to look like a blowout.
Silver cautions that "there isn't yet enough data from after Sunday night's debate to really gauge its impact." And "for that matter, the polls may not yet have fully caught up to the effects of the release on Friday of the 2005 videotape."
That also means they haven't caught up to newly unearthed (or re-media blitzed) allegations of the Republican presidential nominee acting in gross and predatory ways toward women. Trump has recently been accused of walking in on Miss Teen USA pageant contestants while they were changing and kissing an '80s Miss USA contestant directly on the lips upon meeting her. Jill Harth, who accused Trump of attempted rape in 1997, has also been back in the spotlight, along with the thousands of lawsuits alleging sexual harassment and sex-based discrimination against Trump's company.
Evangelical women, including New York Times-bestselling religious author Beth Moore, have been showing signs of turning against Trump recently. And on Tuesday night, the president of the Iowa Federation of Republican Women resigned, stating that she "cannot support Donald J. Trump for president, nor can I advocate for his election."
In a new interview, Bill O'Reilly told Republican nominee he was behind with women. Trump's response? "I'm not sure I believe that."