HOUSTON (FOX 26) - When you're hunting for swing-voting, suburban women on a post-debate Monday, the early lunch crowd at Orleans Seafood Kitchen in Katy is a sweet spot for straight talk over shrimp and signature gumbo.
"Trump is not my first choice, but between him and Hillary, I feel like I can trust what he is telling me more than I can trust what she's saying," said voter Donna Morris. Comforting reaction for a campaign skidding into Sunday's debate squarely in the grease after recorded, decade-old, X-rated, vulgarities emerged to undercut the candidate's character.
Despite apologies, there's no question that damage was done to "the Donald."
"I think that tape, even though he didn't know he was being recorded, basically showed his true feelings, you know, how he feels about women," said voter Yolanda Brown. She called it an ugly sneak peek at Donald Trump's core.
"If he gets in charge, he has status, he can do whatever he wants and he can take liberties at will and that's not the democracy we have here in the United States," added Brown.
But plenty of others in this decisive demographic think that the flames of this controversy will quickly fizzle like others before.
Donna Warrick is worried more about Clinton's energy policy than her opponent's offensive braggadocio.
"I think people spew off sometimes and say things in the heat of the moment and I don't think it has anything to do with the election," said Warrick. "It was 11 years ago."
Diana Velasquez believes voters like her are getting badly shortchanged on what should be the entree in this election, serious and sustained talk about the issues.
"I'm glad he owned and apologized for it," said Velasquez. "I think we really need to get down and get serious and get off the ET side of the debate and focus on where we are going."