A new poll out Tuesday from the Washington Post and the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University shows dramatic shifts in support of the impeachment process, with 58 percent of the country now saying they support the impeachment inquiry and nearly half—49 percent—saying they support removing Trump from office.
The level of support for the impeachment process predictably differs along party lines, but none of the recent indicators are good for the president. “Since a July poll by The Post and ABC, there has been movement toward an impeachment inquiry among all three groups, with support for the inquiry rising by 25 points among Democrats, 21 points among Republicans and 20 points among independents,” the Post notes. Trump’s Ukraine phone call—which occurred in July but wasn’t reported on until September—has clearly altered Americans’ perspective on impeachment. It’s unclear how much Trump’s unhinged, all-caps response to growing impeachment pressure has changed opinions in the moderate corner of his own party as well as among independents.
Growing Democratic support for impeachment was perhaps expected, but Republican support for the process—if not yet for the removal of the president—even if at comparatively low levels, could be extremely dangerous for Trump and his presidency. From the Post:
More than 8 in 10 Democrats endorse the inquiry and nearly 8 in 10 favor a vote to recommend that Trump be removed from office. Among Republicans, roughly 7 in 10 do not support the inquiry but almost 3 in 10 do, and almost one-fifth of Republicans say they favor a vote recommending his removal. Among the critical voting bloc of independents, support for the impeachment inquiry hits 57 percent, with 49 percent saying the House should vote to remove Trump from office.
If those GOP numbers hold or continue to slide, Trump could be in serious trouble. The Republican Party has acquiesced almost across the board under Trump’s leadership, such that there’s been a substantial political cost to disagreeing with the White House or being seen as not sufficiently supportive of Trump. If support for impeachment erodes that cost, you could see more Republicans in Congress defying the president and coming out in support of the impeachment process. Of course, if the past three years are any indication, you could also very much not see that happen.