'Not a dealbreaker': MAGA moms are willing to blow off Trump's sex abuse verdict

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According to a longtime conservative pollster, a substantial number of women who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020 are undeterred by his recent courtroom loss in Manhattan where he was ordered to pay $5 million after a jury found he had defamed and sexually assaulted writer E. Jean Carroll.

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Female Trump supporters gaze on the president in a Raleigh, NC rally. Image via Chip Somodevilla/AFP.

As Sarah Longwell wrote for the Bulwark, Trump’s documented history of verbal and physical abuse directed at women is not proving to be a dealbreaker with the die-hard MAGA moms who have participated in recent focus groups.

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Typical of responses when asked about Trump’s history of abuse towards women was Kim, a mother of five from Massachusetts, who explained, “They’re making a huge deal of it because they’re afraid of him. They’re trying to get him the hell out because they can’t control him.”

According to Longwell, “In many cases, his behavior—and Democrats’ and the courts’ attempts to hold him accountable—only strengthens their support for him. Even those who condemn his misogyny often say it’s not a dealbreaker. At this point, eight years into the Trump era, the sexism is internalized by his supporters. And even shared by some of them.”

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“I’ve seen female GOP voters rationalize, compartmentalize, and defend Trump’s treatment of women,” she notes. “They say they ‘[don’t] like his lifestyle and the things he did personally,’ but ‘believed that he could do the things he was saying because of his professional background. Which leads us to an unsatisfying possibility: Donald Trump has treated women more atrociously—criminally, even—than any presidential candidate in history. And this fact will matter very little in the coming election. Because voters think what they think about him. So 2024 is likely to be decided by the same narrow set of issues that define most presidential elections: jobs and the economy, abortion and Dobbs, guns and crime. “

When it comes to the Carroll case, one Trump defender told Longwell, “I’m not saying that what he did was . . . right. I’m a victim of the same thing,” and then added, “…we have to stay focused on who can run the country.”

Longwell then warned that, based on her focus group interactions, there appears little that will derail their support for the former president.

“Which is why you shouldn’t hold your breath for the next indictment, the next sexist slur, the next hush-money revelation to shake Trump’s hold over them. We’re eight years down this road. Abuse is a problem that tends to get worse with time, not better. And it doesn’t go away on its own,” she explained.

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