Donald Trump is struggling to keep his presidency together following the explosive revelations surrounding his Ukrainian extortion scheme, and the surge of public support for impeachment will only make it more difficult for him.
That’s because a higher percentage of Americans – by double digits – support the impeachment of Trump right now than they did at the same point during the Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton impeachment sagas.
As MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki pointed out on Monday, new polling consistently shows that more Americans now support impeachment than oppose it – completely the opposite of how the public felt during the Nixon and Clinton days.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) October 8, 2019
Impeachment is more complicated politically than just the inquiry. But these numbers for Trump, these numbers are significantly higher than they have been before at any other point in his presidency. This Ukraine story has brought support for outright impeachment into the mid-40s. It was not there before. Now, how does this compare to those two other presidents? First of all, this was Richard Nixon. This is polling from when the House began an impeachment inquiry against Nixon in February 1974, and this is on the question of impeachment, not the inquiry. Did you want Nixon impeached, as the inquiry began, it was 38% who said they wanted that. By the end, a few months later, all the hearings, more revelations, smoking gun tape, all this sort of thing – that approval number was in the 50s, really in the 60s, by the time Nixon was compelled to leave office. But it started at 38. Remember, Trump in the mid-40s. How about this? Clinton, it started at 31 for him in October 98 when the impeachment inquiry began. Never really changed from there. Clinton was impeached by the House, he acquitted by the senate. It was always very unpopular.
Public opinion is shifting away from Trump and the Republicans
Republicans are hoping the impeachment inquiry recently launched by House Democrats will be seen by the public as a political overreach.
But the polling shows that public opinion is with the Democrats as they continue to ramp up their inquiry, not with Republicans who continue to turn a blind eye to the president’s misconduct.
It’s still very early in Donald Trump’s impeachment process, but if history is any guide, things are likely to get much worse as more evidence of his high crimes and misdemeanors comes forward.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.