Political experts said Friday a controversial video that surfaced showing Donald Trump making vulgar, demeaning remarks toward women has killed his chances in the November election.
“We've never had anything like this,” said Tim Chambless of the Hinckley Institute of Politics. “This is almost a nuclear bomb for the Trump campaign just a month before the election, two days before the second presidential debate.”
The video, obtained by the Washington Post, immediately exploded on social media.
“It was a pretty big topic of conversation, buzz around the office,” Sandy resident Kyrene Gibb said. “I was disgusted, but not surprised. This is the portrait that Donald Trump has painted of himself.”
Nathan Ballard, a Salt Lake City resident, also reacted.
“We talked about it, we all agreed it's pretty disgusting,” Ballard said.
Chambless shared the same sentiments.
“I’m both stunned, and not surprised given past statements, past behaviors,” he said. “This particular issue [could] persuade voters to say, ‘I've had enough.’”
And that, he explained, could mean more than just lost votes for Trump.
“Voters may decide to punish not only Donald Trump, but punish the political party that he represents,” Chambless said. “So, you could potentially see a major seismic shift in voter sentiment and voter action.”
Other politicians issued responses Friday, with some expressing disgust and others calling for an apology from Trump.
“Right now, the Republican Party is in crisis mode,” Chambless said.
Is there a way for the Trump campaign to salvage this? Chambless said at the very least, Trump could, “Tell the truth. Be sincere and honest, and apologize.”
Trump did post another video Friday night, during which he said he made a mistake and apologized.
“I’d be really surprised if he looks you in the eye and apologizes, because that's not his way of behaving,” Chambless continued.
Chambless went as far as to suggest the possibility Trump may drop out of the race.
“We’ve never had a candidate leave the campaign prior to Election Day, and that’s what potentially we’re facing,” he said.
However, Chambless added that's unlikely because of the character of Donald Trump.
“It’s not in his nature," he said.
Still, he argued, this video will cause a huge shakeup in the election.
“This is a story that will not go away," Chambless said. "We will be talking about this for years... It’s unprecedented. Nothing in our textbooks, nothing in our political history describes this.”