Much has been made about how the ascent of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump could affect Republicans in races further down the ballot. Now, an advertisement in Arkansas' Senate race is a preview of how Democrats are likely to tie Republican opponents who support Trump's candidacy to incendiary remarks the businessman has made in the past.
The ad for Democrat Conner Eldridge, titled "Harassment," opens with the word splashed as it would appear in a dictionary, then cuts to clips of Trump speaking about women.
"She ate like a pig," Trump said in one clip. "I'd look her in that fat, ugly face of hers," he said in another. The ad then defines harassment and cuts to more of Trump's past comments.
"The boob job is terrible, you know. They look like two light posts coming out of a body," Trump said, adding, "A person who's flat-chested is very hard to be a 10." In other clips Trump tells a female reporter she wouldn't have a her job if she weren't beautiful, remarks that it would be a "pretty picture" to see a female contestant from "The Apprentice" on her knees and talks about his ex-wife in bed.
Eldridge calls his opponent in the race, Sen. John Boozman (R), an enabler of Trump and his comments, cutting to a clip of Boozman stating that he would support Trump if he were the nominee. The video then shows a computer screen saying that Eldridge, a former U.S. attorney, prosecuted domestic violence and harassment.
"How can Senator Boozman enable this behavior by blindly supporting a GOP Presidential Nominee no matter who it is or what they say?" Eldridge's campaign writes on YouTube.
Trump has a history of making controversial remarks about women. Last week, he accused Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton of playing the "woman's card" and said she would not be successful if she were a man. In March, Trump retweeted an unflattering image of GOP rival Ted Cruz's wife contrasted with a photo of his own wife, a retired model.
The incident set off alarms among establishment Republicans who fear that Trump could imperil the party with female voters in the general election. The real estate mogul has won female voters on average by 10 percentage points over his rivals in primary contests this year. But Trump’s successes in winning Republican women has not translated to popularity among women or men in the broader electorate, where he continues to be deeply unpopular.
A USA Today-Suffolk University poll released last week found that 66 percent of likely female voters nationwide have an unfavorable view of Trump, compared with 48 percent who have a negative opinion of Clinton. Among men the two are closer — 57 percent view Trump negatively while 61 percent say the same of Clinton.
"So you treat women with respect?" Trump is asked in an interview Eldridge uses in the ad.
"I can't say that, either," Trump said, laughing.