A survey conducted by Trump's campaign pollster in the days after protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol found that people in swing states overwhelmingly seek for Congress to focus on battling the coronavirus, not impeachment.
However, other Republicans claim Trump’s appeal as an election-winning machine has evaporated after the party lost the White House and sabotaged hopes of holding two Senate seats in Georgia, and other opinion polls suggest that a majority of voters’ support impeachment.
It leaves lawmakers facing a familiar decision: weighing the power that Trump continues to hold over a swath of voters against his shortcomings. This time in the way he peddled claims, unsupported by court rulings or his own Department of Justice, about a stolen election that erupted into violence last week.
A poll conducted by John McLaughlin sampled 800 voters in 17 states considered competitive by the Trump campaign found that 60% of voters thought it was a “waste of time” for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to try to impeach and remove the president before Inauguration Day. Impeaching him after Joe Biden was sworn in would be a politically motivated effort to prevent him from running again, according to 74% of all voters.
The results are being used by Trump’s allies to remind lawmakers where their best interests lie.
"The polling is overwhelming,” stated senior adviser Jason Miller. “Republican members supporting impeachment do so at their own political peril."
The poll indicated that some 48% of voters were less likely to vote for a member of Congress that voted for impeachment, with 36% saying they were more likely to do so.
Other surveys suggest the broader public sees things differently. An ABC News/Ipsos poll released on Sunday morning found that 56% of adults were in favor of removing Trump, including 58% of independents.
Trump has seen his support among Republicans slip away. At least five, including third-ranking GOP House leader Liz Cheney of Wyoming, say they will vote to impeach Trump.
"The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack," she said in a statement. "There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution."
And even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a once dependable ally of the White House, is reported to believe Trump committed an impeachable act.
Veteran GOP strategist Rich Galen said Republicans faced a choice between avoiding a Trumpist primary challenge and saving democracy.
“Trump is toxic,” he said. “The question is whether he is toxic to Republicans, and the answer is not to enough of them yet, but it appears to be moving in that direction.”