A poll out today shows how quickly public sentiment is moving against Donald Trump. According to the Washington Post survey, a solid majority of Americans support the impeachment proceedings and a plurality believe he should be removed from office. The poll shows movement across party lines and should be a warning to Republicans up and down the ballot. 

The poll says that 58% of people believe the impeachment inquiry is justified, including 57% of independents and 28% of Republicans. The big numbers here are with Republicans. A third of them think that Trump’s actions in the Ukraine were inappropriate and 36% disapprove of the way Republicans have responded to the investigation. We’re still a year out, but if those Republicans who have found a conscience continue to move away from Trump and disapprove of the way Republicans are handling the probe, 2020 could be a disaster. 

The one warning sign for Democrats is that half of the respondents think the impeachment probe will distract from more important issues. Democrats need to show that they can walk and chew gum at the same time. They should be advertising the fact that they’ve passed dozens of important bills in the House that are being held up by Mitch McConnell in the Senate.

These numbers clearly illustrate the problem facing incumbents like Thom Tillis who have primaries in swing states. With 70% of the GOP opposing the impeachment inquiry, he can’t win his primary without support from those types of Republicans.  However, if Trump’s support continues to erode, he’ll have a difficult time attracting the independents he needs to win in the general election and might see turnout drop among the GOP. So far, Tillis has wrapped himself around Trump, debasing himself in exchange for the president’s support. A year from now, Democrats will make sure he has to run with that legacy whether the president is still in office or not. 

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