Amer­i­cans trend­ing to­wards oust­ing Trump: Poll

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Global - Chi­danand.Ra­jghatta

Washington: Polls, in­clud­ing one from Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s favourite Fox News, are show­ing Amer­i­can vot­ers trend­ing to­wards not only im­peach­ing the White House in­cum­bent, but also re­mov­ing him from of­fice.

Some half dozen sur­veys in re­cent days are in­di­cat­ing that a ma­jor­ity of Amer­i­cans are in favour of the on­go­ing impeachmen­t in­quiry. But the most star­tling num­bers came out on Wed­nes­day from a poll com­mis­sioned by the con­ser­va­tive Trump-sup­port­ing Fox News, which showed that 51% of re­spon­dents want to see Trump im­peached and re­moved from of­fice, with a fur­ther 4% be­liev­ing the pres­i­dent should be im­peached but not re­moved from of­fice.

Im­peach­ing the US Pres­i­dent comes within the am­bit of the 435-mem­ber US House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, which is cur­rently con­trolled by Democrats (235-198). But re­mov­ing him from of­fice re­quires a 2/3rds ap­proval of the 100mem­ber Se­nate, which cur­rently has a Re­pub­li­can ma­jor­ity (53-47). So while the Democrat-ma­jor­ity House looks cer­tain to go down the impeachmen­t route, as of now re­mov­ing Trump from of­fice looks un­likely un­less things change dra­mat­i­cally.

But the poll, and the sug­ges­tion that the ground is slip­ping from be­neath him, so ag­i­tated Trump that he fired off an­gry tweets against his fa­vorite net­work. “From the day I an­nounced I was run­ning for Pres­i­dent, I have NEVER had a good @FoxNews Poll. Who­ever their Poll­ster is, they suck,” he fumed.

Trump also com­plained about a few Fox News an­chors and con­trib­u­tors who were not on his side, say­ing “@FoxNews is also much dif­fer­ent than it used to be in the good old [email protected] doesn’t de­liver for US any­more. It is so dif­fer­ent than it used to be.”

The Fox poll also showed 66% re­spon­dents say­ing Trump shouldn’t have asked Ukraine for help in dig­ging up dirt on his pu­ta­tive pres­i­den­tial ri­val Joe Bi­den and 51% say­ing Trump is more cor­rupt than pre­vi­ous pres­i­dents.

An ear­lier Fox News poll in June showed only 39% re­spon­dents sup­port­ing impeachmen­t. But since then, support for impeachmen­t in­creased among vot­ers of all stripes: up 11 points among Democrats, 5 points among Repub­li­cans and 3 among in­de­pen­dents.

Ac­cord­ing to Fox News, support for impeachmen­t also went up among some of Trump’s key con­stituen­cies, in­clud­ing white evan­gel­i­cal Chris­tians (+5 points), white men with­out a col­lege de­gree (+8), and ru­ral whites (+10). Among vot­ers in swing coun­ties (where Hil­lary Clin­ton and Trump were within 10 points in 2016), support for impeachmen­t in­creased to 52%, up from 42% in July.

The bil­lion­aire New York busi­ness­man-turned-Pres­i­dent also main­tains that Bi­den and his son Hunter are cor­rupt. Bi­den, who was elected to the Se­nate from Delaware when he was 29 and served six terms be­fore he be­came 47th vice-pres­i­dent, has a blue-col­lar back­ground and was con­sid­ered of such mod­est means that he was a daily Am­trak train com­muter from Wilm­ing­ton to Washington DC when he was a law­maker.

How­ever, Trump’s per­sonal lawyer Rudy Gi­u­liani bore down on the Bi­dens on Wed­nes­day claim­ing over Fox News on Wed­nes­day that the for­mer vice-pres­i­dent, his son and his brother “had a 30-year­long scam to make money, mil­lions, sell­ing his public of­fice” and that Ukraine was “just the tip of the ice­berg.” But in a set­back to the Trump side, two of Gi­u­liani’s as­so­ci­ates who helped him in­ves­ti­gate the Bi­dens were ar­rested on charges that they schemed to fun­nel for­eign money to US politi­cians.

Amid the charges and counter charges, Trump is start­ing to lose do­mes­tic al­lies on the for­eign pol­icy front, with GOP law­mak­ers fum­ing over his ditch­ing the Kurds.

If Trump starts to lose Re­pub­li­can sup­ports at the grass roots and in Congress, then the en­tire dy­nam­ics of the impeachmen­t process will change.



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