The past week has been rough for the Trump camp. A leaked tape from 2005 let voters hear Trump and Billy Bush, the host of Access Hollywood, talking trash about women. Including a choice quote of Trump saying that, “And when you’re a star they let you do it…You can do anything … Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”
Beyond Trump repeating himself all the time (does no one remember Trump making fun of Rubio for repeating himself??) we have the crux of issue: Trump says he assaulted women. Then he backtracks, saying it was just “locker room talk” and that he has never done these things. In and of itself, it’s shady, but people brag when they think they’re doing something great, right?
Couple that with women coming forward and saying that they have been touched inappropriately by Trump. Two women went to the New York Times, former Miss Utah Temple Taggert spoke exclusively to NBC, and People Magazine ran an account by one of their writers, Natasha Stoynoff. Trump’s lawyers sent a letter to the Times demanding that the article be removed or a libel suit would be filed, and the paper responded that it “welcome[d] the opportunity to have a court set him straight.”
But what is truly fascinating about this–besides of course, watching the presidential nominee unravel in such an absurd manner–is looking at the demographics. Nate Silver of 538 released some maps yesterday of what the election returns would look like based on gender. The maps ended up starting a trend, #Repealthe19th wish I desperately wish was a joke.
Trump’s campaign is hemorrhaging the female vote, including endorsements from female Republican politicians. But the reality of PussyGate is that Trump isn’t just turning off the voters who already were voting blue. Trump is losing the base he needs most: White college educated women. Historically, White college educated voters are Republicans, but 538 estimates that Trump will likely be the first Republican in 60 (sixty!) years to lose this voting bloc.
Back in August, the Brookings Institution estimated that post-convention, nearly 60% of college educated White women are voting for Clinton (up from the 45% pre-convention), creating a voting bloc among educated White women. Similarly, NPR’s Asma Khalid reported that traditionally-Republican educated Whites (who Obama lost big time in 2012) are moving to Clinton at a rapid pace. Even before the 2005 tape leaked, Trump was struggling with White women as a whole.
Then author Kelly Oxford tweeted her story of sexual assault in response to Trump’s defense of his “locker room talk”.
Responses poured in. I considered tweeting my own, and have all the respect in the world for the women who did.
I get that White femininity has always had its own pedestal in this country, from Emmett Till to Cleveland. But recap of this week is this: White folks have (seemingly) finally opened their eyes to what minorities have been saying about Trump since day one.
This isn’t to act as though sexual assault is strictly a problem in the White community, but seriously? This is what it took for America to wake up? Make no mistake, this is a man that brags about assault, who mocks people with disabilities, who tells his followers to “do something” (read: assassinate) about Clinton. He claimed that Blacks and Latinos “live in Hell”, that Mexicans are rapists, and called for a total ban on Muslims entering the country.
In the classic example of “First they come for…”, Trump has come for Latinos, immigrants as a whole, Muslims, Blacks and only now that he comes for White women, White America wakes up and sees the nightmare of the election. Voting on policy is one thing, but if this is what triggered your moral compass, we need to have a talk.