Microsoft News Poll results that first started picking up steam on Christmas Day showed that support for President Donald Trump’s removal from office has reached its highest point yet, at 55-percent. While some critics of the president believe this indicates that “hiding evidence” from the American people isn’t going over well, others are advising a wait-and-see approach.
MSN Poll matches all-time high for support of conviction 55%, and opposition plummets to all-time low: Many people moving from "opposition" to "don't know", big moment will be if they reach support for conviction. pic.twitter.com/x1rHyQjKA0
— David Rothschild (@DavMicRot) December 25, 2019
The notion that Trump’s public perception has been damaged by his efforts to obstruct Congress’s investigation into the Ukraine Affair was put forth by Supreme Court litigator and former acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal.
“Trump trying to hide evidence from the American people is not helping him,” Katyal concluded.
But Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe, a daily critic of President Trump who has early and often called for impeachment, was less confident that poll numbers were indicative of a trend, cautioning that the spike “could be just a blip.”
Could be just a blip. Or could be a trend. Watch this space.https://t.co/asIQSARdhs
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) December 26, 2019
The poll not only revealed a drastic increase in the number of people endorsing the president’s removal (up from 47-percent the prior week), it also showed only 40-percent of those polled opposed Trump’s conviction and removal by the Senate, down from 47-percent the prior week. President Trump taunted Democrats in a December 17 tweet touting impeachment poll numbers and decrying the whole process as a “scam.”
“Impeachment Poll numbers are starting to drop like a rock now that people are understanding better what this whole Democrat Scam is all about!” he wrote.
Impeachment Poll numbers are starting to drop like a rock now that people are understanding better what this whole Democrat Scam is all about!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 17, 2019
David Rothschild, an economist at Microsoft Research, noted that the numbers also showed “many people moving from ‘opposition’ to ‘don’t know,’” which could have significant implications for Trump’s public support.
According to Rothschild, the numbers appear to reflect voters’ frustration with: the White House’s refusal to cooperate with congressional impeachment investigators; leading GOP Senators’ unwillingness to hear more from key witnesses like Mick Mulvaney and John Bolton about the withholding of military aid to Ukraine.
“When you follow polling daily, you learn people rarely make big jumps from Opposition to Support, but slowly move through don’t know or third-party,” he tweeted. “This polling is a clear sign that Republican policy of complete obstruction is not selling well to voting public.”
Little more detail as this tweet took off. Poll updates daily here https://t.co/thfR4Vifu9, methods follow this writeup https://t.co/n9NkbyseWm (a well tested version of MRP). As always: look at aggregations to know what is going on, and trust trends more than levels.
— David Rothschild (@DavMicRot) December 26, 2019
[Image via Steven Ryan/Getty Images]
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