A few months ago, I blogged about what I had thought then would be the demise of Donald Trump’s campaign after his verbal attack on Faris Khan and his family. I was certain that these comments would halt the “Trump Train.” Boy, I was wrong. While in the days after, Trump did fall in the polls, it was a just a few weeks later when he was nearly tied with Hillary Clinton in the polls again.
Certainly, his words have revolted some. His mocking, disrespectful language has angered both parties. Yet, despite everything, Donald Trump always seemed to be neck in neck with Hillary Clinton in the polls. Just a couple months ago, David Plouffe, former campaign-manager to Barack Obama, stated that the White House could be easily won with the right GOP candidate. He was 99% sure that Hillary Clinton was going to be the next president. I’m sure millions of Clinton supporters agreed with him. But, after every bump in the road, at every point where it seemed Trump had surely lost it, he would climb back up, making the eventual presidential election result unclear again.
At present, however, Trump is facing an obstacle he might not be able to overcome. An audio tape was released in which Trump appears to be admitting that he engaged in conduct that amounts to sexual assault. Shortly thereafter, there have been numerous allegations of sexual assault against Trump by various women. Trump has dropped in the polls severely. As of October 16, Clinton holds an 11 point lead on him. While Trump has held numerous rallies where he has scoffed at the idea of him “groping ugly women”, the rallies don’t seem to be helping. With every new day, another woman seems to be speaking out about some sexual abuse she suffered at Trump’s hands.
With one more debate left, Trump has some serious ground to make up. Despite all of Trump’s missteps in this election, the dislike for Hillary Clinton remains very strong. If the Democratic nominee were anyone other than Hillary Clinton, I believe he/she would be surging in the polls by 20-plus points. But, the hatred and mistrust of Hillary Clinton keeps Donald Trump’s campaign alive. To remain competitive, Trump needs to focus the final debate on policy issues; mainly immigration and terrorism, the two issues of his that resonate strongly with American voters.
While the audiotape and the sexual assault allegations have clearly hurt Trump, the race isn’t over yet. Despite Hillary Clinton’s current poll success, there is still plenty of time for Trump to make up the shortfall before the election. There is still one more debate. Who knows what new developments could affect the outcome of the election in the following weeks? One thing is for certain: Trump may be down, but he is not out, and this election could be much closer than anyone can predict.