Polls show sizable public support for Trump's impeachment

Trump keeps arguing that "the people" oppose his impeachment. I guess it depends on which "people" we're referring to.
Image: US President Donald J. Trump hosts former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger
MICHAEL REYNOLDS / EPA
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By Steve Benen

To hear Donald Trump tell it, his congressional detractors are committing political suicide by pursuing impeachment against him. The president recently published tweets arguing, "[T]he American people have had it with this," and, "The more people learn about impeachment, the less people want impeachment."

I guess it depends on which "people" we're referring to. Consider the latest Quinnipiac poll, released yesterday afternoon:

A slight majority of voters, 51 - 46 percent, approve of the House of Representatives' vote to impeach President Trump. [...]

Similar to the opinion on the House vote to impeach President Trump, a majority of voters, 52 - 45 percent, say they are troubled by President Trump's actions involving Ukraine. Two thirds, 66 percent, would like to see John Bolton, the former National Security Advisor to President Trump, testify in the Senate impeachment trial, including 39 percent of Republicans, 71 percent of independents, and 91 percent of Democrats.

In fairness, the results were slightly better on the question of whether the president should be removed from office by the Senate, with the public more closely divided: 48% believe senators should not bring Trump's term to a premature end, while 46% believe senators should kick him out.

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But given the circumstances, it's awfully tough for Republicans to argue that only 46% of Americans -- effectively the same percentage of Americans who actually voted for Trump in 2016 -- want to see their president removed from office as a result of his misdeeds.

What's more, FiveThirtyEight maintains averages across all polling, and as of this morning, it showed public support for Trump's impeachment at 50.4% -- its highest point to date.

This isn't just a piece of political trivia.

It's obvious, for example, that Trump hopes to intimidate members of Congress into steering clear of holding him accountable, telling them the public is on his side. The evidence suggests otherwise, which should help stiffen the spines of wavering lawmakers.

What's more, there's historical parallel to keep in mind: in late July 1974, Gallup released a poll just 11 days before Richard Nixon was forced to announce he would resign in disgrace. The survey found at the time that 46% of Americans wanted to see the corrupt Republican removed from office.

That's the same number that want to see Trump ousted now.

MORE: Today's Maddowblog