Rep. Adam Schiff has been holding court for days in the Senate, laying out the House’s case against President Donald Trump.
But no one cares. On the second day of the trial, the snoozefest drew fewer than 9 million viewers (that’s a million or so fewer the average nightly viewing of Jeopardy, the Washington Examiner noted).
And senators are shocked that the galleries above the Senate — where average Americans can sit during the supposedly historic trial — have been half empty day after day.
Here’s something less shocking: “President Trump’s approval rating has climbed to match the highest of his presidency, boosted by majority approval of his economic stewardship even as Americans remain deeply divided on whether the Senate should remove him from office, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.”
That’s right, Trump’s approval has been going up, not down, during the impeachment trial.
“The Post-ABC poll finds 44 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s overall job performance and 51 percent disapprove. While views of Trump remain negative, Trump’s approval rating is significantly improved from his 38 percent mark in late October,” The Post wrote.
But there were a few interesting findings in the data. Among registered voters, those considered more likely to vote, that 44/51 split rises to 47/50. And among independents, which helped push Trump to victory in 2016, the numbers are even better at 47/48.
More: 56% of those surveyed approve of Trump’s handling of the economy, up 10 percentage points from September and his highest mark since he took office on January 20, 2017.
“The findings suggest the country’s strong economy and heightened support from men and independents are helping Trump weather an impeachment trial in which Democrats have argued Trump abused his presidential powers and obstructed a congressional investigation of his actions. Trump’s 44 percent approval mark is similar to other recent national polls, though other polls have shown Trump’s rating stable or increasing slightly,” The Post wrote.
The poll’s finding were predictable when it came to partisan politics. “Partisans continue to be starkly divided on Trump’s fate, with more than 8 in 10 Democrats supporting his removal and more than 8 in 10 Republicans opposed. Independents narrowly lean against removal, with 42 percent saying the Senate should remove Trump from office while 51 percent say it should not.”
In another poll, this one by Gallup, Americans’ confidence in the U.S. economy was even higher — in fact, the highest at any point in about two decades. “The latest figure from Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index is +40, the highest reading recorded since +44 in October 2000.”
Gallup also noted that “tracking of economic confidence over the past 28 years has recorded index readings at or above the +40 mark in just nine other measurements, all between 1998 and 2000 — with the highest level recorded in January 2000, at +56”:
Americans’ buoyant confidence in the economy in Gallup’s latest poll, conducted Jan. 2-15, likely reflects the U.S. unemployment rate’s continued stay at a 50-year low. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average continues to reach record highs — and flirts with reaching the 30,000 marker.
Gallup’s Economic Confidence Index is the average of two components: Americans’ ratings of current economic conditions and their views on whether the economy is getting better or getting worse. The index has a theoretical maximum of +100, achieved if all Americans believe the economy is excellent or good and getting better. The theoretical minimum is -100, if all Americans say the economy is poor and getting worse.
The current conditions component score of +54 is the result of 62% of Americans saying the economy is “excellent” or “good” and 8% describing it as “poor.” Meanwhile, the economic outlook component score of +26 is the result of 59% saying the economy is “getting better” and 33% saying it is “getting worse.”