By now, every American with internet access knows about the leaked tape that shows Republican nominee Donald Trump boasting about making non-consensual advances upon women. Trump and company have tried to minimize the importance of what's now being called the "Trump tape." But the public isn't buying Trump's excuses. Polls after the Trump tape do not look good for the GOP, according to NBC News. The Trump campaign has not responded to Romper's request for comment.
Results from several of the first national polls since the release of the Access Hollywood tape show Democratic rival Hillary Clinton increasing her lead. In the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Clinton leads by 11 points. In the same poll last month, Clinton led by 6 points, according to USA Today. The newer poll, which surveyed 500 voters on Saturday and Sunday following the release of the damning tape, reflects voters' shifting attitudes towards the Republican candidate.
The tape shows Trump describing behavior that many, including the Justice Department and CNN's Anderson Cooper, are saying sounds an awful lot like sexual assault. Trump said in the tape:
You know I'm automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the p*ssy. You can do anything.
At Sunday night's presidential debate, Trump dismissed the language as "locker room" talk. But many, including professional soccer, basketball, and football players, are calling him out on the excuse. Former NBA player Grant Hill has said, “I’ve been in a lot of locker rooms, and what Trump said is not locker room banter," according to TIME. Voters seem to agree that "locker room" talk isn't an appropriate excuse for Trump's lewd comments, according to polls.
For his part, Trump did apologize in a video released Saturday, according to the New York Times. He said, “I’ve said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more-than-a-decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize." This was the totality of his message regarding the tape. He moved on to discuss his campaign and minimize his language in relation to the "actions of other people," including Hillary and Bill Clinton.
And although Americans have their concerns about a Clinton presidency, many have abandoned Trump camp in the aftermath of the tape's disclosure. Prominent political figures like Arizona Sen. John McCain and House Speaker Paul Ryan, along with several congresspeople, have rebuked Trump and refused to campaign for or further endorse the candidate, according the Wall Street Journal. Voters are doing the same. Clinton is leading Trump by several points in many of the national polls, and has increased her standing by at least a couple points in almost all of them, even Trump-leaning ones.
Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight said that the tape really helped Clinton's poll numbers, and that Trump's handling of the aftermath, including his performance in the debate, will probably solidify her lead. We'll need a few more days to know for sure how the tape and the second debate will stack up for each candidate in the polls. For now, let's just hope Trump learned his lesson and is finally regretting his language and behavior towards women.