Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large
Updated 12:34 PM ET, Wed December 18, 2019
(CNN) Some time later today — maybe MUCH later today — the House will vote to impeach President Donald Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — both tied to his actions around a July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelensky.
Even as the House prepares for the historic vote, however, there’s growing evidence that the public impeachment proceedings in the House against Trump may actually be helping him politically.
Take a new Gallup poll released Wednesday morning, which shows two things happening since House Democrats, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, opened up a formal impeachment inquiry in October regarding Trump’s conduct with Zelensky:
1) Trump’s job approval rating has gone from 39% to 45%
2) Support for Trump’s impeachment and removal has dipped from 52% to 46%.
Those results largely affirm other data out over the past week or so that suggest support for impeachment has dipped. In a CNN national poll released earlier this week, 45% said they supported the impeachment and removal of the President — down from 50% who said the same in a mid-November CNN survey. That same poll showed opposition to impeachment/removal at 46%, up 4 points from mid-November. And a CNN “poll of polls” — an average of all six most recent quality/credible national polling conducted between December 4 and December 15 — showed 46% favored impeachment and removal as compared to 49% who did not.
Now, as I have noted previously, these numbers are not “good” for Trump — as he so often takes to Twitter to proclaim. Compared to recent past presidents — including Bill Clinton, who actually was impeached — a significantly lager chunk of the public now favors Trump’s removal than ever felt that way about Clinton, Barack Obama or George W. Bush. In fact, Trump’s current numbers on impeachment are most similar to those of Richard Nixon in the spring of 1974. (Articles of impeachment on Nixon were approved by the House Judiciary Committee but never came to a floor vote because Nixon resigned first.)