Unlike Watergate, This TV Impeachment Drama Flops In Approval Ratings
Hoping to sway viewers, members of the House Intelligence Committee have played to the cameras during televised impeachment hearings that this week have aired well into prime time viewing hours.
But despite the wall-to-wall media coverage, President Trump’s public support remains statistically `unchanged. The latest Gallup poll, conducted November 1 to 14, failed to show a noticeable impact of the impeachment hearings on presidential approval.
This relative stability in approval rating contrasts with President Richard Nixon’s job approval trajectory during Watergate. Nixon’s support took a noticeable dip as a potential impeachment inquiry came into focus in the early 1970s, well before social media and 24-hour cable news networks supercharged public discourse.
The last time the president’s approval rating hit 43 percent was in mid-September, just before media reports emerged that a whistleblower complaint had been filed regarding a call between Trump and the president of Ukraine.
Moreover, Trump’s Real Clear Politics numbers, an average of all major polls, have changed only about one percent since its recent high of 45.3 percent on September 24th. From October 30 to this past Monday, the president’s average approval rating is 44 percent.
Within his party, support for the president is unwavering.
According to the new Gallup numbers, Republican approval of Trump’s job performance is statistically unchanged from a poll conducted October 14 to 31. Ninety percent give the president a thumb’s up while only 10 percent disapprove. This seems to imply that the underlying claims presented by House Democrats, which at times seem obscured by minutia and diplomatic-speak, are not breaking through party lines as Democrats hoped they would.
The consistency in Trump’s approval rating likely has to do with a strong economy. Gallup reports that the 57 percent approval rating he received for his handling of the economy is the highest since he took office. His prior two ratings on the economy were 50 percent in May and 53 percent in August.
Tuesday, Trump trolled House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her statements about who should decide whether he is impeached.
“It is dangerous to let voters decide” Pelosi said.
“In other words,” Trump retorted, “she thinks I’m going to win and doesn’t want to take a chance on letting voters decide.”