The bad news for Donald Trump keeps rolling in, poll after poll. A new Washington Post/Schar School poll finds 58% support for an impeachment inquiry, with just 38% of people opposed. The poll was conducted October 1-6, so Trump’s “the best defense is a good offense” strategy should have had time to kick in.
Support for actually impeaching Trump is still only at 49%, but given how fast support for the impeachment inquiry has grown, it’s clear that these numbers are not set in stone. And there’s more bad news for Trump in the poll: almost 30% of Republicans support the impeachment inquiry. If that number grows, he could start to see his wall of support from Senate Republicans cracking. Support for both the inquiry and impeachment itself is just about as high among independents as it is overall.
In more bad news for Republicans, 56% of people told the pollster they disapprove of how congressional Republicans are handling impeachment, while 49% approve of how congressional Democrats are responding. One thing Democrats should be sure to address is the 50% of people who said that the impeachment inquiry is distracting Congress from more important issues—House Democrats could, for instance, renew the reminders of all the legislation they’ve passed that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to allow the Senate to consider. Why, if the Senate started taking up those bills, it would give the House plenty of time to focus on impeachment and yet Congress would still be getting stuff done. But that’s a messaging issue, since congressional Democrats have done a lot and will continue to walk and chew gum at the same time. The problems this poll reveals for Republicans go a hell of a lot deeper.