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Poll: Most believe allegations about Trump, women

LAURIE KELLMAN and EMILY SWANSON
Associated Press

Washington – — Donald Trump’s behavior has long grated on Carolyn Miller, but the allegations he sexually assaulted women was one factor that helped her decide in the last week to cast her ballot for Hillary Clinton.

“I don’t think she’s a bad person. Trump, I think, is a bad person,” the 70-year-old Fort Myers, Florida, resident said. As for Trump’s accusers, Miller added, “I believe them.” And she said her vote for Clinton is “a default.”

Miller is among the more than 7 in 10 Americans who say in a new Associated Press-GfK poll that they believe the women who say the Republican presidential candidate kissed or groped them without their consent, a verdict that may have turned off enough voters, including some Republicans, to add to his challenges in the presidential race.

Forty-two percent of Republican voters and 35 percent of Trump’s own supporters think the accusations are probably true. Men and women are about equally likely to think so.

Several women have publicly accused Trump of groping and kissing them without permission, including a People magazine reporter who said Trump attacked her when his wife, Melania, was out of the room. The accusations came after a 2005 recording surfaced in which Trump can be heard describing himself sexually assaulting women.

Trump called his remarks on the video “locker room talk,” dismissed the accusations as “fiction” and said of several accusers that they aren’t attractive enough to merit his attention.

A majority of voters, 52 percent, say allegations about the way Trump treats women make them less likely to vote for him, including a fifth of Republican likely voters. And within that group, only about a third say they will vote for him, with about a third supporting Clinton and the remainder supporting third party candidates.

That may help explain why just 79 percent of Republican in the poll said they’re supporting Trump compared with 90 percent of Democrats supporting Clinton.