Scott Jones claimed tonight that he would not support Donald Trump’s campaign for President because it’s the courageous thing to do.
Jones first announced to the Sacramento Bee in March that he would “definitely support Trump.” Since then, Jones repeatedly reinforced his support, as recently as the day before audio of Trump bragging about sexual assault leaked on October 7th.
Jones’ decision to dump Trump is nothing more than self-preservation. Days after the Trump tape was leaked, polling showed Jones’ standing had tanked -- and national polls showed a similar pattern for other Trump supporters around the nation.
Scott Jones announced to the Bee on March 4th that he would “definitely support Trump if he were the nominee.”
“I cannot conceive of voting for Hillary Clinton. So, yeah, I would definitely support Trump if he were the nominee,” Jones said.
Jones reinforced his support for Trump in May, when he told the Bee:
“Given the alternative, I will be voting for him.”
In fact, up until the day before audio of Trump bragging about sexual assault came to light, Jones was publicly reinforcing his support for the nominee on Capitol Public Radio:
[3:12] SJ: My issues are out there and well established so to unfairly paint either Congressman Bera or me for my willingness to vote for Donald Trump, I think is a little bit unfair and I think a little bit beyond what the voters in this Congressional district actually care about.
The truth is, Jones stood with Trump while he attacked a gold star family, after he mocked a disabled reporter, and while he made repeated sexist remarks. It wasn’t until Jones became fearful for his own political future did he abandon Trump.
In fact, as Jones announced that he was withdrawing his support from the Republican nominee, he noted that he’d just polled on Trump a week earlier:
Jones said his campaign polled voters in the district about Trump against Clinton beginning in August and last week, though not recently enough to reflect release of the tape Friday.
And recent polling in the CA-7 race noted Jones' popularity has dropped in less than a month, showing how his support for Trump may have already cost him.
The Washington Post has also shown how this local shift in the CA-7 race may also be reflected in national polls:
Fresh internal polls conducted by the DCCC — the House Democrats’ campaign arm — after the second presidential debate on Sunday night painted a grim picture for Republican lawmakers.
They show that Republicans — who started moving en masse against Trump after the revelations in the videotape — faced a backlash regardless of whether they continued to support Trump or not. On Monday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told his colleagues in a conference call that he will no longer campaign for or defend Trump in public, but did not entirely rescind his support for the GOP presidential nominee.