By Robert A. Vella
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll Aug. 26-29, 2018 indicates the American public has turned sharply against President Trump. While his poll numbers have never been very good since taking office, it is clear now that the fallout from criminal investigations and prosecutions of his inner circle are having a dramatic effect on public opinion. Check out these stunning results:
- 60% disapprove of the President’s job performance while only 36% approve.
- 47% disapprove of his handling of the economy whereas 45% approve (keep in mind that current economic conditions are generally good, statistically at least).
- 45% agree that corruption has increased under Trump and just 13% say it has decreased.
- 63% support the Mueller investigation of Trump while 29% oppose it.
- 53% believe the President has obstructed justice in the Mueller investigation whereas 35% believe he has not.
- 67% say the criminal case against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is justified versus 17% who say it is unjustified.
- 66% oppose a presidential pardon for Manafort and 18% support it.
- 62% side with Attorney General Jeff Sessions in allowing the Mueller investigation to continue while 23% side with the President in wanting to stop it.
- 64% say the President should not fire Sessions whereas 19% say that he should.
- 61% would agree that Trump committed a crime to influence the 2016 presidential election if he directed his former lawyer Michael Cohen to make hush money payments to the women he had affairs with and 31% would not agree he committed a crime.
- 49% want Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against the President while 46% do not.
As the legal walls close in around the President, and there’s no reason to think otherwise at this point, Republicans in Congress and GOP leaders around the country will increasingly see Trump as a political liability. If that sentiment reaches a critical mass, they will turn on him in a heartbeat just as they turned on President Nixon during the Watergate scandal. However, they will resist doing so for as long as possible. If that critical moment is realized, Republicans will pressure Trump to resign in order to avoid a politically damaging impeachment crisis. I think that’s where this is heading, and I suspect Trump will fight to the very end.