Clinton Secures Lead While Sexual Harassment Charges Dog Trump
NEW DELHI: The latest polls by CNN/ORC place Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton 5 point ahead of rival Republican nominee Donald Trump as the presidential campaign heads into its final two weeks. Fox News places Clinton three points ahead, whilst The Associated Press-GfK poll gives the Democrat her largest lead yet with 14 points. Polls have shown that Clinton’s edge has continued to climb since the presidential debates, with several analysts linking the change, in part, to a series of sexual harassment allegations that have since dogged Trump.
The latest such allegation comes from adult film star Jessica Drake, who this week accused Trump of hugging and kissing her and two female companions in his hotel room without permission. She added that after she left the room, Trump or someone on his behalf offered her 10,000 USD to return. "Collectively, his words and his actions are a huge testament to his character: That of uncontrollable misogyny, entitlement and being a sexual assault apologist," said Drake.
Trump responded to the charge in his typically dismissive manner, saying “oh, I'm sure she's never been grabbed before.” "It's all lies, it's all lies, it was made up. It's like dripping water,” he added.
Trump may have denied grabbing Drake by the arm, but an admission that he likes ‘grabbing women by the *****” is what sparked the wave of sexual harassment allegations against him. A 2005 videotape obtained and released earlier this month wherein Trump is talking to Billy Bush about hitting on a woman, albeit unsuccessfully, dealt a severe blow to the real estate mogul’s campaign. Trump accused the Clinton campaign of deliberately releasing the video, but a wave of assault allegations have since poured in.
Drake in fact is the 11th woman to accuse Donald Trump of inappropriate sexual behaviour. Others include: Karena Virginia, who said that Trump -- without permission -- walked upto her and grabbed her arm and then touched her inappropriately in 1998; Cathy Heller, who accuses Trump of trying to forcibly kiss her in 1997; Summer Zervos, who appeared in Season 5 of TV show The Apprentice, and alleges that Trump touched her inappropriately on two occasions; Kristin Anderson, who described how Trump touched her at a nightclub in the early 1990s without her consent; Natasha Stoynoff, who described how Trump pushed himself on her while his wife Melania was in the next room in 2005; Jessica Leeds, who alleges that Trump groped her on an airplane; Rachel Crooks, who worked as a receptionist at a company based in Trump Tower and has alleged that Trump tried to kiss her; Mindy McGillivray who alleges that Trump groped her in 2003; CNN’s Erin Burnett said on air that an unnamed friend of hers was kissed by Trump without her consent; Cassandra Searles, then Miss Washington USA, said that Trump repeatedly groped her; Temple Taggart, then Miss Utah, alleges that Trump kissed her inappropriately; Jill Harth, who accuses Trump of “attempted rape”; and even former wife Ivana Trump who accuses Trump of assaulting her.
Although Trump has denied each and every charge, the fact that the allegations have impacted public perception are evinced by a recent poll respondents whether they believed that Trump “probably has or has not made unwanted sexual advances toward women.” Sixty-eight per cent of registered voters believed that he had; only fourteen per cent believed that he had not. However, the catch is that forty-three percent of likely voters in the poll said that they would vote for Trump, suggesting that a significant portion of Trump’s supporters think that he’s lying, and do not care.