Unanimously and in just three hours, a New York jury agreed with E Jean Carroll that Donald Trump forced himself on her in a Manhattan fitting room in 1996. The jurors didn’t find that she’d been raped but did find Trump liable for battery and defamation and awarded her $5 million in damages. He will appeal. But she has been vindicated, and new footage of Trump doubling down on the peculiar assertion that stars have “historically” been free to grab people by the genitals will circulate throughout the next US election cycle. Not that this scuppers Trump’s candidacy. His base already thinks New Yorkers are barely American. But it does focus attention on two groups of voters: socially centrist women aged 35-49 who voted Trump in 2016 but started to abandon him in 2020; and the 54 per cent of those who don’t want a Trump-Biden rematch who say they’ll vote Biden if they have to (compared with 15 per cent who say they’ll vote Trump). Both groups look likely to expand.
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