Calls for President Donald Trump’s impeachment are growing among American voters.
Forty-three percent of voters want Congress to begin impeachment proceedings, up from 38 percent polled last week, according to a new poll from Politico and Morning Consult — and majority of these voters, 54 percent, don’t care whether he has actually committed an impeachable offense.
To be sure, a larger percentage of Americans — 45 percent — don’t think Trump should be impeached, but that margin dropped 1 point in the last week. Altogether, the numbers suggest that Trump’s scandal-plagued administration is looking more and more incompetent among American voters.
These calls for impeachment are overwhelmingly on party lines. According to the Politico/Morning Consult poll, 71 percent of self-identified Democratic voters think Trump should be impeached, whereas 76 percent of Republicans don’t think Congress should act to remove the president. However, Trump’s approval ratings remain dismally low, sitting at a 45 percent approval rating this week, after hitting an all-time low of 41 percent at the height of the Russia-related scandals two weeks ago.
Even among Republicans on Capitol Hill, Trump’s scandals have made for backroom chatter about what a Mike Pence administration might look like.
It’s “becoming much harder to deny that we wouldn't be better off moving a real agenda under a President Pence,” one congressional Republican aide told Vox in mid-May, “rather than spending all day maneuvering the entire ship of state to try and clean up after this guy.”
Only a couple of Republican lawmakers — Reps. Justin Amash and Carlos Curbelo — have acknowledged the possibility of impeachment. And only one Congress member has formally made a call for Trump’s impeachment: Texas Democrat Rep. Al Green. But even his party felt he had jumped the gun. That said, there is consensus that these scandals aren’t going anywhere.
The chaos isn’t going to be over anytime soon
Every week comes with new drips of information about possible ties between Trump’s team and foreign actors.
Congressional Republicans decried the “drama” in the White House as distraction from pushing the GOP’s policy agenda on Capitol Hill, and lawmakers in both parties have increasingly started demanding answers.
On June 6, the Senate Intelligence Committee is supposed to receive the first batch of subpoenaed documents from disgraced former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who has been at the center of many of these allegations.
If Trump remains this unpopular — and calls for impeachment continue to grow — it could hurt other Republican politicians going forward. In the midst of ongoing turmoil in the White House, Democrats have been watching vulnerable Republican House and Senate seats very closely. As Vox’s Andrew Prokop writes, low approval ratings don’t bode well for the Republican majority in the 2018 midterm election.
“Every postwar president with a sub-50 percent approval rating around midterm time has lost a double-digit number of House seats, with truly massive landslides being common,” Prokop writes.