Yesterday, we noted that it appeared Trump’s debts were coming due, he looked to be forced into checking off a list of “favors” owed to foreign leaders, while facing maximum political pressure from Republican politicians at home. Today, Trump faces that same gripping dynamic, only now vastly intensified. New polls show support for the impeachment probe shot sharply up over the last week. The latest Washington Post poll shows that Americans now favor opening the impeachment inquiry by 20 points. Link:
The poll finds that, by a margin of 58 percent to 38 percent, Americans say the House was correct to undertake the inquiry. Among all adults, 49 percent say the House should take the more significant step to impeach the president and call for his removal from office. Another 6 percent say they back the start of the inquiry but do not favor removing Trump from office, with the remainder undecided about the president’s ultimate fate. The results among registered voters are almost identical.
In today’s typical 50-50 political divide, that 20 point opening gap is a blinking red-light flashing danger over every Republican politician considering whether to continue defending Trump at all cost. Voters at home are noticing. And we are talking about “Republican voters,” too, because it isn’t just that “support” for impeachment is up, it is up everywhere and among everyone, including Republicans.
Support among Democratic voters for an impeachment inquiry rose by 25 points since July, but also by 21 points among Republicans and 20 points among independents, too. The GOP opposition to an inquiry is still 71%, with 59% feeling strongly about their position, but that’s an erosion nonetheless. Independents now favor an inquiry by a majority 57/38, with 40% feeling strongly about it.
That is devastating.
Those first cracks in the Republican wall that we noted over the last couple of weeks now have daylight peeking through. If twenty percent of Republicans are “open” to hearing more in the impeachment inquiry, they are not under the full Trump sway, and will not accept “it was the perfect call” as the perfect defense.
Of course, the poll would be reverberating even more ominously had the poll found just one percentage point higher favorability over the ultimate question, removal. As of this weekend, the cut-off date for the poll, 49% of Americans favored “removing” Trump from office, and that is stunning. One wonders what the dynamic might “feel” like had the poll integrated Trump’s betrayal of the Kurds, the cut and run from ISIS, and the public having absorbed Sen. Graham’s anger and Mitch McConnell’s rebuke. What would headlines this morning be if the poll showed “54% of Americans favor removal …”?
Speaking of the Senate, each Republican senator now must see the clear trend, with each passing week, new revelations send Trump reeling, reacting in unpredictable and bizarre ways, and polls moving in one direction, and one direction only, against Trump.
It was the end of August that we noted the unsustainability of the administration, and the pace of “chaos,” (if chaos has a pace). In the time period between then and now, political “approval” ratings have danced up and down some, but support for the impeachment process appears to be headed in one direction only. This poll, with the jumps across all sub-categories, will act like a clap of thunder down along Pennsylvania Avenue, sending everyone for cover.
The vice keeps tightening on Trump, and the man doesn’t react well to pressure. Mistakes are being made near hourly, some with grave consequences. With weakening Republican support before the poll’s release, Trump seems to be barely clinging to the ledge. Literally anything could happen this week.
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