Donald Trump has been dealt one legal blow after another as he is accused of sexually assaulting a writer and paying a porn star, but it remains to be seen how much it could cost him among female voters in his quest to win the White House again.
Late last Wednesday, Trump, the leading Republican candidate for the 2024 elections, downplayed the possibility that a New York jury decision would push him to hold him responsible for assaulting the former Elle magazine writer, E. Jane Carroll, women to abstain from voting for him.
“No, I don’t think so,” Trump said, when appearing in an interview with “CNN”, which was broadcast live, adding, in the context of his talk about Carroll, “I don’t know this woman, I have never met her. I have no idea who she is.” “.
Under the ruling in the civil case, Trump was obliged to pay compensation of five million dollars, while the former president still faces legal consequences for a series of sexual assault accusations dating back decades, all of which he denied.
It came a month after he pleaded not guilty to 34 counts in a criminal case in which he was accused of falsifying business records as part of a 2016 campaign to silence adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who claims she had an affair with Trump years ago.
Political expert Debbie Walsh rules out that Trump’s defeat against Carroll will change opinions among his electoral base, as his loyalists have stayed with him for years, despite the controversy over sexual files that usually bring down many politicians.
“I think it could affect if he’s running in the general election,” said Walsh, who directs the Center for Women and Politics at Rutgers University.
Trump, 76, must attract widespread support and appeal to groups other than his traditional white, blue-collar followers in order to regain the presidency.
Women are among the segments he will likely need to win their support, as current President Joe Biden won 55 percent of female voters in 2020, compared to 44 percent for Trump, according to a Pew Research Center study released in June 2021.
And it is unlikely that Trump’s liability for sexual assault and defamation, after he called Carroll “completely disingenuous” following her public accusation against him, would encourage women to vote for him, according to Walsh.-
“One of the things Trump has done to the Republican Party has been the loss of the GOP base to some white, college-educated women who have been a reliable part,” Walsh said.-
Trump had previously succeeded in confronting the controversy related to the women’s file, as before the 2016 elections, about ten women accused Trump of sexual assault. He was heard bragging about inappropriately groping women when The Washington Post published the “Access Hollywood” tape.
However, the accusations and the audio recording failed to undermine Trump’s efforts to win the presidency at the time, and he succeeded in defeating Hillary Clinton. The day after his inauguration, millions of women marched in Washington and elsewhere to express their opposition to the 45th president of the United States.
Since then, Trump has suffered three electoral defeats in four years: in the presidential mid-term elections in 2018 when the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives, his loss in 2020 to Biden, and the mid-term elections also last year when he promised a red republican wave in Congress that was never materialized.
And in the 2020 election, most independent voters chose Biden, a direction Republicans will have to change to reclaim the White House in 2024.
The series of cases facing Trump, which include investigations into his efforts to overturn the outcome of the 2020 election and his handling of classified documents, threaten to push undecided voters to abstain from voting for him. It also provides ammunition for his rivals seeking the Republican nomination to defeat incumbent President Joe Biden.
“Republican opponents will have the right to point out that no matter how Trump turns, a storm of hateful accusations follows him,” said the editorial of the conservative yellow New York Post newspaper, last Tuesday.
There has been no comment yet from Trump’s most prominent opponents, such as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Washington’s former ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley.
But some figures have not hesitated to speak out, such as the former governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson, who said the Carroll ruling must be taken “seriously”, especially since it is “further evidence of Donald Trump’s indefensible behavior.”