By Jack Phillips
“Even Democrats consider it highly unlikely that the Republican-run U.S. Senate will remove President Trump from office now that he has been impeached by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives,” wrote Rasmussen Reports, a pollster that Trump often cites on social media.
It noted that a mere 24 percent of all Americans, including Democrats, think the Senate trial will result in Trump’s removal. Only 12 percent view it as very likely.
An overwhelming 73 percent of respondents told Rasmussen that they believe he will be acquitted.
“Sixty percent of Democrats see Trump’s removal from office as unlikely, although that compares to 81 percent of Republicans and 78 percent of voters not affiliated with either major political party,” the pollster also wrote.
Rasmussen said it surveyed 1,000 likely voters on Dec. 22 and Dec. 23, and the poll has a margin of error of 3 percentage points in either direction.
In the history of the United States, no president has ever been convicted and removed by the Senate, which requires a 67-vote supermajority vote. The House needs a simple majority to pass articles of impeachment.
On Dec. 24, Rasmussen’s daily tracker poll revealed that 48 percent of Americans approve of the job President Trump is doing, showing that his approval rate has remained unchanged amid the impeachment inquiry and vote.
Another Rasmussen poll released on Dec. 20, two days after the House impeached the president for alleged abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in a partisan vote, found that a slight majority believe it is the Democratic House members who are abusing their power, not Trump.
Some 51 percent of those who were surveyed agreed with Trump’s statement about impeachment: “This impeachment represents an unprecedented and unconstitutional abuse of power by Democrat lawmakers unequaled in nearly two-and-a-half centuries of American legislative history.”
About 48 percent agreed with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), when she said, “Our democracy is what is at stake. … The president has engaged in abuse of power, undermining our national security and jeopardizing the integrity of our elections.”
Rasmussen found 46 percent disagreed with Pelosi, as compared with the 40 percent who disagreed with Trump’s statement.
In the days after the historic House vote, Pelosi told reporters she would hold the articles of impeachment before sending them to the Senate, saying she will only name her House managers in the trial after the Senate votes on rules. Republicans and Trump have accused her of using a politically motivated strategy to try and put more pressure on Senate Republicans.
Pelosi’s move also triggered confusion among legal experts. Impeachment witness and Harvard Law professor Noah Feldman wrote that Trump hasn’t actually yet been impeached because the House hasn’t provided the Senate with the articles of impeachment. That means, he argued, Trump could claim “with strong justification that he was never actually impeached. And that’s probably not the message Congressional Democrats are hoping to send.”