THE MORNING PLUM:
The college educated white voters whom Donald Trump needs to win over widely see him as bigoted, sexist, and running a racist campaign. He has been unmasked by the new sex tape as a disgusting pig (words I chose because Trump himself has publicly applied them to his female targets), likely exacerbating that problem, particularly with female voters. He’s seen an exodus of support from the same Republicans who stuck by him even through months of racism, hate, and abuse directed at groups and select individuals alike.
Faced with this problem, Trump had two choices: he could focus his second debate performance largely on showing contrition and trying to reassure voters alienated by his character and temperament, in order to slow or reverse his slide. Or he could try to wrestle Hillary Clinton down into the mud with him and hope for the best. He mostly chose the latter. Virtually everything Trump said and did appeared geared towards that one goal. And, while Clinton’s performance had its flaws, Trump’s effort was a miserable flop.