Following the first U.S presidential debate, the question remains whether any American voters are genuinely undecided in an election that could shake the foundations of the global order.
The answer is: White women voters without a college education could still swing one way or another.
So how is Donald Trump trying to win over women? With this series of tweets that he began sending at 3 a.m. Friday:
Wow, Crooked Hillary was duped and used by my worst Miss U. Hillary floated her as an "angel" without checking her past, which is terrible!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2016
Did Crooked Hillary help disgusting (check out sex tape and past) Alicia M become a U.S. citizen so she could use her in the debate?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2016
On the basis of the evidence, we can conclude the Republican candidate for president of the United States of America was:
a) Up all night;
b) Obsessing over how Hillary Clinton blindsided him in Monday's debate by raising the case of Alicia Machado, the 1996 Miss Universe winner who Mr. Trump bullied and tormented because she later gained weight;
c) Sending out slanderous tweets that attempted to discredit Ms. Machado by shaming her;
d) (And this is just a guess) not thinking very much about how this might go down with female voters.
Of course, the tweets went viral. And, of course, Ms. Clinton jumped on Mr. Trump's latest, shall we say, indiscretion:
What kind of man stays up all night to smear a woman with lies and conspiracy theories?— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 30, 2016
We've heard Donald's insults for years, and his policies reflect this disregard—even contempt—for women.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 30, 2016
The only question that matters is: Does it matter? Mr. Trump delivered, by any reasonable measure, the very worst performance in a televised debate by any presidential candidate in U.S. history. By the end of that night, as he rambled incoherently about Rosie O'Donnell and Sean Hannity and blue screens, he appeared to be on the brink of unhinged.
And yet Ms. Clinton received only a minor bump in the polls that may or may not prove lasting. Thirty-nine days from election day, the great majority of the electorate's support appears baked in, with the nation split almost 50-50 between the two.
Nothing Mr. Trump says can shake the allegiance of white voters without a college education. Nothing Ms. Clinton says grows support beyond her coalition of educated white voters and minority voters.
But if there are white female voters in Middle America who are distrustful of Ms. Clinton yet wary of Mr. Trump – and if there are still millennial voters grieving for Bernie Sanders' noble but failed quest who are reluctant to endorse the candidate who beat him – they should take note.
This is how Donald Trump respects women. This is how he treats them. This is how he would represent them as their president.
This is just how big a slob he really is.