In order to win the presidential election, it's crucial for candidates to reach out to women voters. However this is going to prove difficult for Donald Trump after the leak of his comments about famous men grabbing women "by the pussy." The first poll after Trump's 2005 comments were revealed to the public has him trailing Hillary Clinton by double digits.
According to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Clinton is getting 46 percent support from likely voters in a four-way matchup, which gives her a serious lead over Trump, who's behind at 35 percent. Libertarian Gary Johnson was at nine percent, with Jill Stein of the Green Party at two percent. Last month's poll had Clinton only up by six points in the four-way race.
When only the major two parties were considered, Clinton led Trump by 14 percentage points—52 percent compared to Trump's 38 percent. That lead is up from Clinton's 7-point lead last month, and gives Clinton her largest lead over Trump since the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll started testing Clinton vs. Trump in September 2015.
But the imploding Trump campaign, which even GOP big-wigs like Paul Ryan are abandoning, will likely hurt the Republicans' efforts outside of the Oval Office too.
When asked who they would prefer to have power on Capitol Hill, 49 percent of voters prefer Democrats over Republicans, with only 42 percent preferring the GOP. That seven-point advantage is up from last month, when 48 percent of voters wanted Democrats in power, compared to 45 percent who wanted the GOP in power. Furthermore, the 7-point advantage is the largest Democratic advantage since the government shutdown in October 2013, according to The Daily Beast.
With that said, the impact of the 2005 comments isn't clear yet. Most voters had an issue with the comments, with 41 percent of voters calling them "completely unacceptable," and 31 percent calling them "inappropriate, but typical of how some men talk in private with other men."
Still, only 14 percent of Republicans think that the comments should be grounds for GOP officials to call for Trump to drop out, and only 9 percent of GOP voters think that the comments should convince GOP officials to stop backing Trump.
Overall, 52 percent of respondents said the comments should be an issue in the campaign, with 42 percent disagreeing.
In the end though, "voters view Clinton more negatively than positively by 10 points," as the Washington Post notes, compared to viewing Trump more negatively than positively by 34 points. Thirty-four points!
For comparison, before Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney in 2012, there was not a single poll that showed this big of a lead in the last few months of that campaign, the Washington Post reports.
Notably, this poll was conducted after the release of Trump's 2005 comments about sexual assault, but before Sunday night's debate. But Trump was pretty petty during the debate, so it'll be interesting to see how the polls shift after that.