In a move that has rocked the trajectory of the presidential campaign, a stunning number of women emerged over the last few days to tell stories of unwanted kisses and groping by Donald Trump, rushing to newspapers and television networks to raise more questions about whether the GOP nominee can serve as president.
Mr. Trump, struggling to make up ground against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the polls, vehemently denied the allegations and lashed out repeatedly Thursday at news organizations for giving the women a forum. He demanded a retraction from The New York Times for a report of two accusers coming forward years later to detail their own encounters with the billionaire businessman — one on an airplane and the other inside Trump Tower.
Republican voters and down-ballot GOP candidates, meanwhile, continued to grapple with their damaged nominee — with the latest polling showing some slippage, though no wholesale abandonment.
“What Trump has decided to do … is he is going to basically go from the Queensberry rules of campaigning to full-on UFC with a scorched-earth policy where everyone, everything is in play,” said GOP strategist Ford O’Connell.
“And their theory is that by Election Day 2016, their message is simple: Clinton is going to destroy America,” he said. “And Trump is the only guy who’s going to save and fix it.”