KEY POINTS

  • Trump's approval numbers remain steady at 44 percent
  • 51 percent oppose moving Trump from the White House
  • Clinton's approval was significantly higher during his impeachment

On the eve of the Senate impeachment trial, President Donald Trump’s approval numbers remain largely unchanged, with his base seemingly standing behind him throughout the Ukraine scandal.

According to a new poll from Gallup, Trump is currently sitting at 44 percent job approval rating, only a couple of points behind his all-time highest rating. Perhaps more importantly, this poll shows the American public shifting gradually against removing Trump from the White House, with 51 percent saying they want their senators to vote against conviction. Unsurprisingly, both numbers are heavily split along party lines.

It’s worth noting that while a very slim majority of Americans do not want Trump removed, this is a much smaller group than the one that opposed the removal of President Bill Clinton in 1998. During his impeachment, Clinton also enjoyed much higher approval ratings (73 percent), unlike Trump. While this likely has little bearing on the outcome of the trial itself, it shows how the American public’s view of impeachment this time around differs, and that could end up being just as important.

Although Trump is likely to face acquittal, like Clinton did, these numbers show how impeachment will follow Trump long after the trial wraps up – and this is not lost on Democrats. Even though Senate Republicans have essentially said that the trial will be an open and shut case, the legacy of impeachment has already attached itself to Trump and will haunt him well through the fall.

But it’s not just Trump that will suffer as a result of the impeachment, Democrats hope. Some Republican senators who have stood fast behind Trump may face an uphill battle defending their seats against Democratic challengers this year. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), for example, looks as though she will have a particularly difficult race, as a growing backlash over her vacillating positions on the impeachment and other matters threaten to cost her her seat.

Republicans aren’t the only ones with something to lose, as Democrats also run the risk of being punished for their stances on impeachment come November. Those in particularly vulnerable seats worry that their party’s push to remove Trump from the White House will create a fallout that may well cost them politically.

US President Donald Trump says he wants no more Middle East wars, but may be getting into one with Iran US President Donald Trump says he wants no more Middle East wars, but may be getting into one with Iran Photo: AFP / SAUL LOEB