Following Tuesday’s stunning defeat of Republican candidate — and accused child molester — Roy Moore in the Alabama United States Senate special election, the chances that Donald Trump will face impeachment jumped to the highest point of his nearly 11 months in office so far, according to an expert writing for the online political magazine Slate.
The Slate “Impeach-o-Meter” maintained by the magazine’s chief news blogger Ben Mathis-Lilley rated Trump’s chances of impeachment at a stunning 55 percent after Moore’s defeat by Democrat Doug Jones, a former prosecutor who became the first Democrat to win an Alabama Senate election in 25 years.
Despite the allegations against Moore, which came from five women who accused him of improper contact with them when they were in their teens — including one who was 14 at the time she says Moore touched her sexually — Trump delivered a full endorsement of Moore and even campaigned for him at a rally held in northwestern Florida, just over the Alabama state line.
According to some commentators, the sexual assault and harassment allegations against Moore may have reminded Trump of similar accusations made against himself, by as many as 19 women who have publicly said that Trump kissed or groped them inappropriately and without their consent. Trump has labeled all of the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct “liars,” and according to reports out of the White House, he had privately decided the women accusing Moore were also lying.
But in the aftermath of the Moore defeat, Trump’s political credibility took another hit coming after Virginia elections last month which saw Democrats sweep to a series of victories in that state as well, including taking the governor’s mansion as Democrat Ralph Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie. A Democrat, Phil Murphy, also took the governorship in New Jersey on the same November 7 election night.
After the Moore defeat earlier this week, Trump’s approval rating, as measured by the FiveThirtyEight.com average of all polls, dipped to just 36.7 percent — Trump’s lowest point since his January 20 inauguration. The FiveThirtyEight.com average dipped even further by Friday when Trump registered an average 36.5 percent approval, another new low.
The Slate “Impeach-o-Meter” also took into account a Monmouth University poll this week that showed Trump his lowest point in that poll, a disastrous 32 percent approval rating. But perhaps more significantly, the poll showed that Trump’s support among women has plunged 12 percentage points since September and had dropped nine points even among Republican women.
But Trump’s support for Moore and his plummeting approval ratings are not the only factors pushing the “Impeach-o-Meter” to new heights. Trump has also thrown his support behind a Republican tax “reform” bill that, according to research by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, slashes tax rates drastically for the wealthiest Americans and corporations while actually increasing taxes for middle-class and working-class taxpayers.
According to a Quinnipiac University poll released this week, only 26 percent of Americans approve of the Trump-backed tax bill, while 55 percent disapprove — and 43 percent say they are less likely to vote for a House or Senate candidate who supports the bill.
The Russia investigation, looking into allegations of collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia to tamper with the 2016 election, has also taken strides forward, leading Trump and congressional Republicans to wage a public relations campaign attempting to discredit the investigation and its leader, special counsel Robert Mueller.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Trump in one 42-second monologue declared there was “no collusion” four times, called the Russia allegations “a Democrat hoax,” and denied that he had made “a phone call to Russia,” even though there have been no allegations so far that Trump personally called Russia to arrange an election conspiracy. Watch the video of Trump’s Friday statements below.
On Thursday, Mathis-Lilley updated the Slate Trump “Impeach-o-Meter,” but kept the chances of Trump’s impeachment at 55 percent. On Friday, the legal bookmaker Coral — based in the United Kingdom where betting on political outcomes is not prohibited — gave Trump even money odds to “leave office via impeachment or resignation before (the) end (of his) first term.”