Gallup: Senate Trial Eve and all's ... pretty much the same

Gallup has some bad news for Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi on the eve of the Senate trial for Donald Trump’s impeachment. The House action hasn’t made much of a change in public perception of Trump’s job performance, unless to make it maybe a skosh better. Trump is actually near his record high in Gallup’s series, although that still isn’t an entirely great rating:

As the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump begins, 44% of Americans approve of the job he is doing as president. Trump’s approval rating has been steady in the past three polls — between 43% and 45% — slightly above the 39% to 41% ratings he received as the impeachment inquiry started in the fall.

Trump’s recent job approval ratings — though below the historical average 53% for post-World War II presidents — are among the highest of his presidency. His personal best is 46%, while he has averaged 40% job approval for his entire term.

Bear in mind too that this comes after a three-month period in which House Democrats controlled the process and the narrative. Now that they have been forced to deliver the articles of impeachment to the Senate, Republicans control the process, at least. The drip-drip-drip of leaks from intel sources likely indicates that Schiff is still trying to control the narrative, especially with Lev Parnas and his tainted public testimony last week. At best, though, they can only compete on narrative — and their total control of both over the last three months has done them no good whatsoever in terms of public support for Trump.

Actually, the news from Gallup is even worse on removal:

Forty-six percent of Americans say they would like their senators to vote to convict Trump and remove him from office, while 51% want their senators to vote against conviction so Trump will remain as president. …

As was the case for Clinton, the impeachment of Trump has not had a noticeably negative effect on his popular support. In fact, for both presidents, impeachment had the opposite effect of increasing their public approval. Clinton registered a personal best 73% approval rating immediately after being impeached. Clinton’s higher rating may also have been aided by U.S. airstrikes against Iraq that occurred at the same time as the House impeachment vote.

The 46/51 result falls just outside the margin of error, which means Gallup has a 95% confidence level that a majority of voters oppose the removal of Trump from office. It’s not difficult to see why, either, given both the rushed and erratic process that generated the articles of impeachment and the weak case it presents. Demands by House Democrats for more witnesses that they themselves declined to pursue only perpetuate those impressions, too. One has to wonder precisely what House Democrats think they will gain from a trial under these circumstances, but with Republicans now controlling the process, it’s tough to see this as anything but their high-water mark.

This is just one poll series, though. What about the rest of the polling? For that we turn to RealClearPolitics, which tracks both job approval and impeachment/removal polling. Trump’s job approval ratings aren’t spectacular, but they’re also remarkably stable and moving up slightly over the last three months:

Again, the news is worse on impeachment/removal polling. Support for this has been declining since mid-December, and opposition has surpassed it and is ticking up with the Gallup results:

Worth noting: none of the polling over the past three months in their aggregation has shown any significant bipartisan consensus for impeachment and removal. In fact, the the last poll that wasn’t a YouGov or Morning Consult poll to even show a plurality for impeachment/removal was a Fox News poll from mid-December (+4) just after the articles got approved in the House. Almost every poll showing a plurality of support came from either Morning Consult or YouGov, and even YouGov’s latest iteration shows No +1 over Yes.

Finally, let’s take a look at FiveThirtyEight’s tracker, which uses a different set of polls:

Not only does this not show any overwhelming bipartisan support for removing a duly elected president, it shows nearly no change at all over the past three months of Ukraine-Gate. House Democrats literally changed no minds with their case; their partisan investigation yielded a partisan result because it just played into existing partisan passions. Now that House Democrats no longer control the process, it’s highly unlikely that these numbers will move in their favor — and they might end up moving against them.

This impeachment project has failed. Under no circumstances will the Senate remove an elected president with this kind of partisan-only support, especially ahead of a national election where voters can choose for themselves.

Jazz Shaw Jul 03, 2022 10:01 AM ET