The Republican presidential primary was a cavalcade of times Donald Trump said a thing that was supposed to end his campaign. We catalogued almost all of them here. And yet, through it all, Trump's base of support stuck by him and delivered him the GOP nomination. His backers either didn't care about the controversial things he said or supported them.
But here we are in the general election campaign, where 7 in 10 Americans have an unfavorable view of The Donald. Translation: If he's going to win, lots of people are going to have to hold their nose and vote for a guy they don't particularly like.
Those people do exist. Plenty of them.
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll includes this nugget, courtesy of Philip Rucker and Scott Clement:
Roughly 2 in 3 Americans say that they think Trump is unqualified to lead the nation; are anxious about the idea of him as president; believe his comments about women, minorities and Muslims show an unfair bias; and consider his attacks on a federal judge because of his Mexican American heritage to be racist.
Even 41 percent of Republicans say Trump is unfairly biased against women and minorities, 42 percent say his comments about Judge Gonzalo Curiel were racist, and 33 percent say he's unqualified to be president. Republicans.
Here's the thing, though: There are a substantial number of people who fall into these categories -- believing Trump said a racist thing, that he's unqualified, and/or that he's unfairly biased against women, minorities and Muslims -- and are still planning to vote for him.
Again, from Rucker and Clement:
For instance, 18 percent of people who found Trump’s comments about the judge racist, 15 percent of those who think his comments generally are biased against women, minorities or Muslims, and 11 percent of those who think he is unqualified say that they support Trump over Clinton.
If you combine these three things, the picture becomes clearer. Nearly 1 out of every 5 (18 percent) Americans believe one of these things is true about Donald Trump and still are planning to vote for him. That's nearly half (46 percent, to be specific) of his entire base of support, given he trails 51-39 in the general election.
Plenty of people are holding their nose. But right now, Trump needs even more of them.