With polls showing President Trump surging in key battleground states amid an apparent backlash to the Democrats’ impeachment effort, Quinnipiac — a pollster that generally gives unfavorable numbers for Trump, frequently giving him among the lowest approval ratings of the major polls — presented more troubling numbers for Democrats in a report published Tuesday.
For the first time in the poll, opposition to impeachment topped 50%, while Trump’s approval numbers on the economy reached a new high.
“Slightly more than half of all registered voters, 51 percent, think that President Trump should not be impeached and removed from office, while 45 percent say he should be impeached and removed,” Quinnipiac reports on its survey of 1,553 self-identified registered voters (conducted Dec. 4-9). “This compares to a November 26 poll in which 48 percent of voters said the president should not be impeached, while 45 percent said he should be. Today’s poll is the first time since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the inquiry that more than half of voters say that Trump should not be impeached.”
“With Washington in turmoil and House Democrats poised to vote on impeaching the president for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, American voters signal they are slightly more inclined not to impeach than to impeach,” said Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy.
The report was released the same day that Democrats announced that they are bringing two articles of impeachment against the president: “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress,” neither of which are specified in the Constitution’s impeachment clause as impeachable offenses, though Democrats insist that both qualify as “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Quinnipiac also found a problematic trend for Democrats when it comes to the economy: Trump has now attained his highest approval ratings yet on his handling of the economy, while voters’ perception of their own financial status as well as the economy overall continue to climb:
Today, voters give the president his highest score on his handling of the economy since the question was first asked in February of 2017, with 54 percent approving of the way he’s handling the economy and 42 percent disapproving. A similar 57 percent of voters say that they are better off financially today than they were in 2016, while 22 percent say they are worse off and 19 percent volunteered that they are the same. Voter perception of the economy has improved since October, as 69 percent of voters say the state of the nation’s economy is excellent or good, while 30 percent say it is not so good or poor. In an October 23 poll, 61 percent said the economy was excellent or good, while 36 percent said it was not so good or poor.
Quinnipiac, as usual, finds Trump deep underwater on overall approval (40-57). It also finds him trailing the Democratic frontrunners in hypothetical matchups, though the pollster notes that it found similar numbers for Trump leading up to the 2016 election, which he would go on to win by a wide margin in the Electoral College. The study also found that “none [of the Demcratic presidential candidates] are especially well-liked by registered voters.”
The Quinnipiac study follows Firehouse Strategies’ survey of three crucial battleground states — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — that found Trump now leading all of the Democratic frontrunners in all three states. The study’s findings indicate that opposition to impeachment is partly to blame for the Democrats’ increasingly grim chances in those three Rust Belt states, which proved crucial in Trump’s electoral victory in 2016.