Donald Trump continually says things like “The Hispanics love me!” or “I’m doing great with women!” These phrases are reflective of his deep well of neediness and his self-delusion that polls are all wrong. It’s pathetic, and those advisers and family members who are egging him on so that they can stay on the campaign payroll and/or in his good graces do the country a great disservice. (To be candid, I don’t care what it does to Trump personally.) The more tightly Trump clings to the facade of popularity and viability, the worse the temper tantrum will be on election night — which may include, we fear, calls for violence.
Just how much do Americans hate Trump? Let’s go with the Fox News poll where Hillary Clinton is winning by 7 points in a four-way race (approaching 50 percent):
In the four-way race, Clinton is favored among non-whites (+62 points), suburban women (+24), women (+19), and voters under 30 (+16). Third party candidates hurt her among younger voters, as about one in four of them go for Johnson or Stein.
Trump’s the pick for men (+5 points), whites (+14), and whites without a college degree (+25).
(For reference, Mitt Romney won men by 7 points and whites by 20 points. In 2012, whites with no college education were not broken out as a separate group in the exits.) The more he talks, the less Trump is liked:
Since last week, the largest declines in support for him are among women ages 45 and over (down 12 points), voters ages 65+ (down 11), suburban women (down 10), white women with a college degree (down 7), GOP women (down 6), and white college graduates (down 6).
We have no way of knowing whether Trump has hit rock bottom. It is hard to see how he makes up lost ground so long as his unfavorable ratings remain high, especially among those groups he claims love him:
Trump’s rating stands at negative 23 (38 favorable vs. 61 unfavorable). That’s eight points more negative today, as he was underwater by 15 a week ago.
Among Republicans, his favorable rating dropped 11 points, from 84 percent to 73 percent.
His unfavorables with women (66 percent), nonwhites (85 percent), voters younger than 35 (65 percent) and those with college degrees (61 percent) are stunning. Even groups he does comparatively well with don’t like him. His unfavorables with men (56 percent) and those making less than $50,000 (66 percent) are terrible.
As for his personal attributes:
Overall, 64 percent believe Clinton has the right temperament to serve effectively and 68 percent say she’s qualified to be president.
It’s the opposite for Trump, as 63 percent think he lacks the temperament and 56 percent say he isn’t qualified. For 49 percent, he is “not at all” qualified.
Are the candidates good role models for children? Voters say Clinton is (54 yes vs. 43 no). And Trump is not (20 yes vs. 77 no).
Trump’s real talent is supposed to be salesmanship. And yet, Trump cannot sell Trump to the masses. The longer he tries, the less they like him. At the next debate, if he attends, he’s unlikely to be any more disciplined, civil or likable than he was in the first two. To the contrary, he’s now in burn-it-down mode. He is not, it seems, trying to win office. He will, however, cement in people’s minds a thoroughly negative view of himself — creepy, mean, vulgar, etc. It’s no way to sell chewy steaks and $800-a-night hotel rooms.
After he loses, Trump surely will rail about a rigged election and GOP betrayal. That won’t change his post-election reality: He is going to lose to Clinton in a lopsided defeat and have to live without campaign rallies and constant media attention. His properties will be less attractive as customers (women in particular) decide that they want nothing to do with his brand. His business acumen is no longer admired, his business advice hardly worth considering. He’ll be treated like a loser and a has-been. That will infuriate him most of all.