While prediction market odds for Trump impeachment spiked on the back of ABC’s wildly inaccurate fake news report, the liberal publication The Atlantic argues that the left’s chances for impeaching President Trump have actually gone down instead of up due to increased unity on the right.
Support for President Trump from Republicans has been steady. Furthermore, the report points out correctly that support for Republican Senators who have opposed Trump have instantly nosedived. Bob Corker and Jeff Flake both learned this lesson the hard way.
As reported by The Atlantic
That may be true. But bringing impeachment charges against Trump, and actually forcing him from office, are two vastly different things. And while the former may be more likely today than it was half a year ago, the latter is actually less likely. Since Robert Mueller became special counsel in May, the chances of the House of Representatives passing articles of impeachment—and the Senate ratifying them—have probably gone down.
That’s because impeachment is less a legal process than a political one. Passing articles of impeachment requires a majority of the House. Were such a vote held today—even if every Democrat voted yes—it would still require 22 Republicans. If Democrats take the House next fall, they could then pass articles of impeachment on their own. But ratifying those articles would require two-thirds of the Senate, which would probably require at least 15 Republican votes.
Among Republicans, Trump’s approval rating has held remarkably steady. The week Mueller was named, according to Gallup, Trump’s GOP support stood at 84 percent. In the days after Donald Trump Jr. was revealed to have written, “I love it” in response to a Russian offer of dirt on Hillary Clinton, it reached 87 percent. In Gallup’s last poll, taken in late November, it was 81 percent. Trump’s approval rating among Republicans has not dipped below 79 percent since he took office. None of the revelations from Mueller’s investigation—nor any of the other outrageous things Trump has done—has significantly undermined his support among the GOP rank and file.
The GOP senators who have challenged Trump, by contrast, have seen their support among Republican voters crash. In July, Arizona Senator Jeff Flake’s brave and honorable book was excerpted in Politico as “My Party Is in Denial About Donald Trump.” Trump retaliated, of course. And by October, a Morning Consult poll found that Arizona Republicans disapproved of Flake by 13 points. That month, he declined to run for reelection. The other GOP senator to most frontally challenge Trump has been Tennessee’s Bob Corker, who in a series of interviews in October, accused him of “debasing” the presidency and warned that he could lead America into World War III. The result: A similar collapse of support. As The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake has noted, Tennessee Republicans approved of Corker in February by 40 points. By the end of October, they disapproved of him by 12 points. Not surprisingly, Corker isn’t running for reelection either.
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