Four years ago Wednesday, the "Access Hollywood" tape that featured President Donald Trump bragging to a chortling and cheering Billy Bush about sexually assaulting women was released. Trump was caught claiming he liked to kiss women before they could stop him and "grab them" by their genitals, and explaining that he was able to get away with it because of his fame.
At the time, the expectation was that the tape would cost Trump the votes of many women and any shot at the election. A month later, those predictions were confounded by Trump’s victory, and exit polls concluded the former reality TV star got the votes of 52% of white women. A more rigorous study later conducted by the Pew Research Center found that he won over only 47% of white women, besting Hillary Clinton among that group by two points.
How the WikiLeaks dump of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails an hour later moderated the effect of Trump’s comments on female voters is yet another complexity. But with new 2020 presidential election polls released Wednesday and Trump seemingly trailing badly, is he finally seeing the exodus of white female support that was predicted four years ago?
Pollwise, Trump was already reeling Wednesday thanks to the Tuesday release from one of his favorite pollsters, Rasmussen, showing him trailing Democrat Joe Biden by 12% nationally.
Then Quinnipiac University polling released at 1 p.m. showed Trump trailing Biden by 13 points in Pennsylvania, 11 points in Florida and five points in Iowa, numbers devastating to Trump if they hold up.
So what about those women? Did Trump’s seeming callousness toward COVID-19 after his own infection, including repeatedly exposing others to his infectiousness and telling the nation not to let a virus that has killed 210,000 Americans control their lives, finally drive them away?
In a word, yes.
In Florida, according to the Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday afternoon, Trump is losing women by 19% and white women by 7%. In Pennsylvania, Biden has the support of 63% of all women, to Trump’s 33%, and Biden holds a 23-point edge with white women. And in Iowa, where Black and Hispanic voters make up just 10% of the voters (it’s 29% nationally), Biden is outpolling Trump with all women, 61% to 35%.
With fewer than 30 days to go until Election Day, we’ll see dozens more polls, and no one knows how many more big and unexpected headlines. Things could change, and change quickly.
But according to Wednesday’s polls, white women have had their fill of the president, four years after they were expected to abandon him and did not.