A new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that 49 percent of Americans — effectively one of every two — say that they want to see Donald Trump removed from office through impeachment. In theory, that could happen as soon as January, when the United States Senate appears likely to hold Trump's impeachment trial, if the House of Representatives votes to approve articles of impeachment this week.
Polls have been holding steady to within a few points of 50 percent in support of Trump's removal for at least three weeks now. On November 26, two separate polls — by CNN and Morning Consult — showed support for impeaching and removing Trump at an even 50 percent.
The new Washington Post/ABC poll released on Tuesday also shows majority approval of how the process has been conducted in the impeachment proceedings against Trump, and the expectation among most Americans that a Senate trial will be conducted with fairness. An overwhelming 70 percent say that they believe Trump will get a fair trial, if the process reaches that point.
At the same time, 55 percent in the new survey said that Trump has been treated fairly by the House in its impeachment inquiry, which included several televised hearings. That result shows considerably more than half of Americans disagreeing with Trump himself, who has openly griped that impeaching him is "not fair."
At the same time, unlike Bill Clinton — the only other president in more than 150 years to be impeached — Trump cannot rely on his personal popularity with the American public to pull him through. During late 1997 and early 1998 when Clinton was enduring the impeachment process, his average approval ratings continued well above 50 percent, even peaking at almost 67 percent in late 1997, according to data compiled by FiveThirtyEight.com.
By contrast, Trump remains the most widely disliked president since at least 1945, when the first presidential approval polls were conducted. With an average approval rating of just 43.2 percent as of Tuesday, Trump sets a record for lowest approval by any president at the same point in his term, which so far has lasted 1,061 days. At the same time, 52.5 percent disapprove of Trump, also a record number.
Trump's net approval rating, too, sets a record for this point in any presidential term. Net approval is calculated by subtracting disapproval rating from approval rating. For Trump, that number now puts him "underwater" by 9.3 percentage points, according to FiveThirtyEight.com data.
The only other president with a negative net approval rating after 1,061 days was Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, who stood at -3.5, still 5.8 points better than Trump.
An average of all impeachment polls, also compiled by FiveThirtyEight.com, is generally in line with recent polls showing nearly half — 47.2 percent — supporting Trump's removal from office.
But among Republicans, only 8.9 percent — approximately one of every 11 — say that Trump should be impeached and removed from office, per the FiveThirtyEight.com polling average.