TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump leaves after speaking during the first meeting of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity in the...
SAUL LOEB

On impeachment polling, it’s Trump vs. independent data

Following two weeks of brutal hearings in the House impeachment inquiry, which presented an ugly picture to the public of Donald Trump’s apparent guilt, the president has convinced himself that Americans are finally starting to see things his way.

On Monday morning, he offered some thoughts about polling on impeachment: “Support for Impeachment is dropping like a rock, down into the 20’s in some Polls. Dems should now get down to work and finally approve USMCA, and much more!”

That tweet echoed one from Sunday, in which he declared that “polls have now turned very strongly against Impeachment, especially in swing states.” Polling now showed that only 25 percent of those surveyed supported impeachment, according to his tweet.

The president published a related missive this morning, ostensibly quoting someone on Fox News describing the latest polling as “actually devastating to the Democrats.”

Part of the problem with Trump’s pitch is that he seems to be pointing to data that does not exist outside of his imagination. There are no national polls, for example, that put support for impeachment at just 25%. Literally none show the national figure “down into the 20s.” Republicans were awfully excited about an Emerson poll showing support slipping to 43%, but (a) that poll appears to be an outlier; and (b) there’s a significant difference between 43% and 25%.

Complicating matters is the other data we’ve seen since the president made his dubious declarations. The latest Politico/Morning Consult poll, for example, found 50% of Americans support impeaching Trump and removing him from office, a figure that’s up three points since the previous survey taken before last week’s hearings.

The latest CNN poll, released this morning, also found 50% of Americans supporting Trump’s impeachment and removal from office. And while those numbers haven’t budged in recent weeks, they reflect a dramatic shift since the spring.

Overall, FiveThirtyEight’s averages show proponents of Trump’s impeachment outnumbering opponents, with the gap getting wider, not narrower.

As for why the president keeps pretending the polls say what he wants them to say, remember Trump’s guiding principle: “People will just believe you. You just tell them and they believe you.”