Donald Trump has committed numerous gaffes that would have sunk other candidates since he announced for president last June, including the following.
He declared that Senator John McCain was not a war hero because he got captured.
He mocked a physically handicapped reporter.
Trump got very defensive when Megyn Kelly asked him about past comments he has made regarding women.
Trump said of his then-rival Carly Fiorina, “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?
When asked about the comment at the next debate, Fiorina said, “I think women heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.”
But to the surprise of longtime political observers, none of these instances could sink the enthusiasm of Trump’s supporters. As 2015 moved into 2016 and he began to win primaries in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and beyond, it soon became clear that he was not going to fade away. The question remained: Why?
Headed by Adam Schaeffer and Alexander Oliver, Evolving Strategies tested how 3,500 Indiana voters responded to four anti-Trump ads from April 27 to April 29. After watching them, 8 percent of the women stated that they have now abandoned Trump, while all of his male supporters still said they would vote for him.
“The failure of such ads to derail Trump’s campaign has been an enormous disappointment for Republicans who oppose the front-runner,” Roll Call reported. “They’d hoped that an on-air barrage would slow his momentum in the race to accumulate 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination. Trump is close to three quarters of the way to the mark.”
Roll Call also noted that from last July to December, many of Trump’s GOP rivals, including Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Jeb Bush, attacked each other instead of Trump. Especially notable was Bush, whom Politico reported in January aimed most of his negative ads at Rubio.
But since then, Trump has been the recipient of a growing number of negative ads — not just from the other candidates, but also from the Club for Growth ($11 million in anti-Trump ads) and the OurPrinciples PAC ($16 million), according to Roll Call.
The first ad, produced by OurPrinciples PAC, highlighted Trump’s liberal positions on issues like healthcare, gun control, and abortion, and swayed on one.
The other three ads, however, which focused on his character, were the ones that swayed almost 10 percent of the women from supporting Donald Trump.
The most effective ad, Evolving Strategies noted, was the one where women quoted Trump’s past derogatory comments about them — support for Trump among the women who watched this ad fell from 52 percent to 44 percent.
Ted Cruz Confronts Men’s Unquestioned Support of Donald Trump
Evolving Strategies was not able to say why Donald Trump’s male supporters would not back away from Trump — merely that they would not do so. But the fact of their stalwart support for Trump was highlighted in a recent video by CBS, where Cruz confronted Trump supporters and asked them what they like about him.
“Everything,” came the reply.
When Cruz asked for specifics, the Trump supporter said, “The wall,” referring to the large wall Trump wants to build on the Mexican border.
Cruz calmly responded, “Did you know that on the wall, Donald told the New York Times editorial board that he’s not going to build the wall, that he’s not going to deport anyone?”
“You’re lying,” the Trump supporter said, then shouted, “Lyin’ Ted,” which is how Trump has derisively referred to his competitor.
Cruz responded, “Civilized people don’t scream and yell at each other. I’m not yelling at you. Did you know that Donald’s words were caught on tape?”
He tried to continue talking but was drowned out by someone else shouting, “Career politicians have killed America!”
The Trump supporter then smirked and said mockingly, “Okay, Lyin’ Ted,” then, “You’re the problem. You’re the problem.”
What do you think? What does the unquestioned support for Donald Trump from male voters say about the state of American politics?
[Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images]