Thousands of people cheered for Republican Donald Trump to stay in the race in Bakersfield, California, Saturday.
The crowd, attending the Bakersfield Business Conference, was first asked by Laura Ingraham, one of dozens of guest speakers and editor-in-chief of LifeZette, to cheer if Trump should quit the race. Crickets. Then Ingraham asked the crowd if the GOP nominee should stick it out.
Republicans seemed unswayed by the 11-year-old comments. Democrats seem to think they should end Trump.
“Now how many Republicans want him to stay in this race and fight for America? Actually win for America?”
The crowd erupted with enthusiastic cheers.
The response from the attendees, mostly conservative voters, shows a potentially large disconnect between ordinary Americans and elites on the issue of Trump’s character revelations. Many in the media and political leaders have said Trump should leave the ticket after disclosure of lewd talk on a bus 11 years ago.
A 2005 recording of Trump using vulgar and lewd language about women he found sexually attractive was released on the Friday before the second presidential debate by someone at NBC News.
Ingraham began her remarks by saying she was “appalled and saddened” by Trump’s comments, and that she “was glad” that he apologized. “But let’s be very clear — the Leftists claiming to be offended by his ‘hot mic’ remarks have zero credibility. None of them bailed on or even criticized President Clinton when he was impeached for lying, received oral sex from a White House intern, or was accused of sexual assault,” Ingraham said.
She then proceeded to list the “real scandals” in which Hillary Clinton was the chief bad actor — from Benghazi to lying about the private email server to pay-to-play at the State Department.
“Those have done more to harm America’s security and standing around the world than anything Donald Trump did as a private citizen — no matter how crude.”
Unlike some other Trump troubles, the surfacing of the 11 year-old comments caused substantial quaking within the GOP and Trump’s own organization.
Some even suggested giving the nomination to Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, the Republican vice presidential nominee. Trump has issued two statements of apology, but lost many GOP endorsements in a run on his candidacy Saturday.
But so far, the voters don’t seem moved. According to a Politico/Morning Consult poll released on Sunday, “fewer than four-in-10 voters — 39 percent — think Trump should end his presidential campaign, while only slightly more voters, 45 percent, think he should not drop out.”
The poll was conducted entirely on Saturday, and found a remarkable number of people had heard about the leaked audio. It also found remarkable polarization on the issue.
Republicans seemed unswayed by the 11-year-old comments. Democrats seem to think they should end Trump’s career. According to the poll, “70 percent of Democrats say Trump should end his campaign, but just 12 percent of Republicans — and 13 percent of female Republicans — agree.”
Ingraham found the same type of sentiment in Bakersfield, where Dr. Ben Carson and Magic Johnson also spoke.
But Trump is still behind Clinton in the poll. She is getting 42 percent of the vote, while Trump gets 38 percent, in a four-way race.
Trump debates Democrat Hillary Clinton tonight at Washington University in St. Louis at 9 p.m. EDT.