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Poll: Vast Majority Believe Accusations Against Trump, But He Still Only Trails Hillary By Four Points

Let's start with the bad news for Donald Trump from the Washington Post/ABC News poll released over the weekend. A hefty majority of voters don't believe his apology for the "p***y grab" tape was sincere, more than six-in-ten reject Trump's strategy of pushing back by highlighting the Clintons' treatment of Bill's accusers as unfair (I disagree, for the record), and a super majority say Trump made unwelcome sexual advances on women -- another of whom emerged on Sunday. In short, his defenses are not working:


Even a plurality of Republican voters say Trump probably acted inappropriately with women.  On the plus side for Team Trump, it appears as though his poor conduct is baked into the cake, and that very few voters are changing their minds over these unseemly revelations. For all the talk about enthusiasm gaps and divided parties, Clinton and Trump are virtually tied on both measures at this stage of the race -- and this survey shows the GOP nominee only trailing in the top line outcome by four percentage points, in in the four-way and head-to-head contests:

Clinton's favorable rating is underwater by double digits, while Trump's is an abysmal (31/66). He and Clinton are tied on dishonesty, the economy, and terrorism, while Hillary enjoys massive leads on temperament, qualifications and even moral character (even though her numbers on the latter question are also poor). In light of the state of the news cycle, plus the results of those basic threshold questions on fitness of office, one could be forgiven for assuming that Mrs. Clinton had a large lead in the race, as opposed to her modest four-point advantage. Then again the partisan sample is just D+3 among registered voters, which is more favorable than the split we've seen in other polling. For example, yet another NBC/WSJ poll published yesterday gave Clinton a yawning 11-point lead.  Even in that dreadful survey, Trump holds advantages on honesty, trade and the economy.  And there's encouraging news for down ballot Republicans, too.  In a poll showing Clinton ahead by double digits, the generic Congressional ballot is 47-44 for Democrats, which is far off the pace they'd need to build a "wave."  In fact, with most Americans expecting Hillary to win, an outright majority of voters say they'd prefer a Republican Congress to provide a check against her, as opposed to a Democratic Congress to rubber stamp her agenda:


They're just not that into you, Hillary. I'll leave you with Mike Pence calmly stating that yes, of course, he and Donald Trump will accept the election results as legitimate, juxtaposed with his running mate's smokin' hot takes:

This effort to pre-excuse a loss with nefarious conspiracies is dangerous and wrong. Trump has been trailing Hillary nearly wire-to-wire, and his recent polling swoon began before the media's pile-on over sexual misconduct. He's losing this thing fair and square, all on his own. But what about this "media rigging" he keeps whining about? He actually has something of a point there, come to think of it. Much like Hillary's campaign team, the media was pulling for Trump throughout the GOP primary, knowing that he would be both a ratings and clicks goldmine and easy to defeat in the general election. So they propped him up for months, only to inevitably turn on him with a vengeance and tear him apart when the time was right:


The liberal media picked the GOP nominee in 2016, taking an historically-weak plurality of Republican primary voters along for the ride. Trump has been astoundingly unpopular throughout this entire cycle, throughout the primary process.  People's blinders falling off after it's too late -- and frantically trying to assign blame -- isn't evidence of rigging. It's a belated recognition of reality.


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