This represents “a slight dip over the past month,” according to WaPo, in line with other post-Mueller polls. A few days ago Morning Consult detected a five-point drop for impeachment since January — and a 12-point drop among Democrats. There’s really no doubt that Mueller’s finding of no collusion and Barr’s finding of no obstruction has taken the wind out of the left’s sails on ousting Trump before 2020. Which is good news for POTUS and for House Democrats, who really don’t want to roll the dice on impeachment.
In fact, looking at these numbers, I’m not sure Barr’s verdict on obstruction mattered much. A plurality of Americans, divided almost perfectly along party lines, believes that Trump “tried to interfere with the Russia investigation in a way that amounts to obstruction of justice” no matter what Bill Barr thinks:
A strong majority also thinks he lied to the public about Russiagate and obstruction:
When you ask if Mueller’s report “cleared” Trump, as Trump has insisted many times, the public splits 31/53. And yet, when you take the logical next step and ask if it’s impeachment time, Democrats are only sort of lukewarm and independents are downright chilly:
I think the takeaway on public opinion about Russiagate is clear: Collusion was basically the whole ballgame. Absent a finding that Trump or his deputies conspired with Russia to try to swing the election, public support for impeachment can’t get off the launchpad. Americans might be disgusted by the obstruction material in Mueller’s report but (a) they’re used to being disgusted by Trump and (b) with no finding of collusion there’s no argument that Trump was obstructing the investigation to cover up his own wrongdoing. The fact that Mueller was allowed to finish his work also deflates the idea of obstruction in some people’s eyes, I’m sure. Whether or not an attempt was made, it wasn’t enough to justify undertaking something as wrenching as removing a duly elected president from office before his term’s up.
It’s not even enough to dent his job approval, really. I’ve flagged a couple of polls this week (one of them Morning Consult’s) that showed a sudden drop in his approval rating post-Mueller but WaPo has him at 42/54 among registered voters, about par for the course for POTUS. In both RCP’s and FiveThirtyEight’s poll of polls, he’s lost less than a point in approval since the Mueller report came out. There’s just not a lot of public upset about the obstruction allegations in Mueller’s report.
There is one piece of ominous news for Trump, though:
That’s among independents. A post-Mueller poll from Reuters also found a small but significant number of people, 15 percent, who said they were less likely to vote for Trump now given what they’ve learned from Mueller. Who knows if they’re serious about that, but if they are then this poll is basically an ideal outcome for Pelosi and the Democrats. Her strategy is to avoid touching the third rail of impeachment but to hope that the results of Mueller’s probe and subsequent House investigations weaken Trump to the point where voters decide to remove him themselves next fall. That’s basically the upshot of this data. There’s not enough from Russiagate to kick him out now but 2020 may be a different story.
Exit question via Charlie Sykes: Did Trump’s attempts to obstruct actually work?