Thanks very much, Nancy Pelosi. Trump is now stronger than ever
The Republicans are now solidly behind the president, and the limelight has been stolen from the Democrats’ only hope
Donald Trump is not the first president to survive impeachment – Andrew Johnson did so in the 1860s and Bill Clinton in the 1990s – but he is the first to be impeached and then face re-election. So, the question is: does impeachment make any difference to the popularity of an already controversial president?
The evidence suggests that it might actually help. The Republican Party has finally, definitively, rallied around Trump. If elite moderates were ever going to stage a mounted effort to bring him down, here was their chance – and even though most acknowledged that he did something wrong (Senator Lisa Murkowski called his actions “shameful”) they declined to find him guilty.
The Republican Party is now the Trump party, rank-and-file. The president boasts an impressive 94% approval rating among Republicans. His approval rating is up overall. According to Gallup, it’s now higher than Barack Obama’s was at the same point in the election cycle in 2012: Trump is on 49%, Obama was on 46%. Trump is at his most popular since he took office...