By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—New polling data reveals that public support for Donald Trump has declined slightly since The Washington Post released a video showing Donald Trump making vulgar, sexual comments in 2005.
A POLITICO/Morning Consult poll is the first national survey to test voters’ opinions after the video became public last Friday afternoon. 74 percent of Republicans say the leaders of the GOP should stand by Trump. 41 percent of Republicans say they would be more likely to support a candidate who continues to back the real estate mogul. These numbers seem to reflect the general mood in Alabama, where Trump’s supporters have flooded social media sites in defense of the Republican nominee.
The social media chatter in Alabama is heavily pepper with the idea that Trump’s remark about grabbing a woman’s genitals or advances to a married woman shortly after he had tied the knot for the third time, was just “locker room” bluster.
The poll shows that half (48 percent) say the video reflects Trump’s views, while 40 percent say it was just locker room banter. Only 17 percent of Republicans say the comments are Trump’s actual views. 66 percent say it’s locker room talk.
Some Alabama politicos have engaged in heated “Twitter Wars” over how men talk in private vs. what is offensive or demeaning to women. The POLITICO/Morning Consult survey found half (48 percent) say, most talk like this in private, compared to 36 percent who say they did not. Republicans were more than twice as likely as Democrats to say most talk like Trump did in private, 67 percent to 31 percent. Independent voters were split, with 46 percent saying most talked as Trump did in private.
In Alabama’s “Twitterverse” comments ranged from, “People who say, ‘oh c’mon, all men talk how Trump did in the #TrumpTapes’ really need to surround themselves with higher quality men,’ to ‘The style of language Trump used has happened in every locker room and dance club around the world. Are women just now finding out that some men talk like that?”
Many Trump stalwarts liken the candidate to former President, Bill Clinton. One Facebook post reflective of many says, ‘her husband raped women and had a girl get on her knees in the White House. Let’s not forget about that folks.’ That was answered by ‘Trump: Don’t judge me on the man I was ten years ago. But please judge Hillary on the man her husband was 20 years ago #TrumpTapes.”
Republican US Representatives Martha Roby and Bradley Byrne said they would not vote for Trump, and he should step aside and allow running mate Mike Pence to step in. Congressman Gary Palmer issued a stern rebuke of Trump’s hot mic remarks but stopped just shy of calling on the candidate to leave the race. “As a husband and father of two daughters, I was dismayed and angered by the comments made by Mr. Trump in 2005,” said Palmer. “Even though he made those statements over a decade ago, they are extremely offensive and not representative of my values or the values of the American people. He was right to apologize, but without showing true contrition and asking for forgiveness the apology is not sufficient. Mr. Trump should seek forgiveness and give deep and serious consideration to what he should do in regard to what is best for our country.”
So far, Governor Robert Bentley is the only State’s constitutional officer to denounce Trump or call for him to relinquish his spot on the ticket. After the release of Bentley’s press statement, former Republican State Senator Scott Beason Tweeted, “Biggest shock from Trump tapes: Our Governor, Robert Bentley, comments on it at all.”
More polls will follow as but the first finds the GOP rank in file are sticking with Trump.