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Poll: Impeachment Opposition Rises to New High, Trump Economic Approval Soars

A fresh nationwide survey from Quinnipiac -- which has not been a particularly friendly pollster to President Trump -- shows that public opposition to impeaching and removing the president has risen to a new high, with an outright majority now saying they're against the idea.  The poll was released on the heels of several weeks of much-hyped public hearings, and was published on the same day that House Democrats unveiled two articles of impeachment against Trump (neither of which was a clear-cut crime such as bribery or obstruction of justice).  Amid some increased chatter about censure as an alternative to impeachment, allow me to remind you of how this is going to play out.  She has the votes.  The same poll produced strong approval on the incumbent's job performance on the crucial issue of the economy, with a double-digit majority giving Trump high marks:


On the 'better or worse' metric, even some of Trump's toughest electoral demographics say they're in stronger financial shape than they were at the end of the Obama presidency, including young voters (66% better, 21% worse), and Hispanics (50/26).  But in spite of rising opposition to impeachment, and positive movement on the economy -- how could there not be? -- Trump's overall approval rating remains mired at a paltry (41/55), with most voters preferring that one of his Democratic challengers win the White House next year.  It's true that his standing seems to be clearly improving in key swing states, but he's still in relatively weak shape nationally (although his favorability rating in the new Monmouth poll is stronger at 46/52).  For what it's worth, the GOP leads generally on the economy, taxes, and national security, while Democrats have an advantage on healthcare, race relations and climate change.  The two major parties are roughly tied on immigration and guns.

Meanwhile, in the 2020 Democratic primary race, I've found myself asking the following question quite a lot lately: "What on earth is Joe Biden doing?"  Well, we can begin answering that question by simply saying, "something right, evidently."  Despite some bumps in the road and nagging questions about his performance as a candidate, the former Vice President remains a steady and clear frontrunner.  Nationally, at least.  While other rivals have risen, fallen, spiked and stalled, Biden keeps on chugging along.  Two fresh nationwide polls show Grandpa Joe in first place, with his closest competitor (once again Bernie Sanders) five to 12 points:


Biden is hanging strong despite hiccups and puzzling decisions, such as his recent bungling of yet another question about the foreign business dealings of his son, Hunter.  David Axelrod is mystified:

The former VP has not handled this issue (which is a real problem) well at all -- and for many voters, flailing, angry bluster isn't going to cut it.  I also cannot imagine who thought whispering about this to reporters was a good idea:


Conceding the age/aging point and effectively declaring yourself an instant lame duck seems unwise, especially as the candidate himself regularly forgets where he is.  I'll leave you with this analysis on Biden's primary strategy, which may be sobering for his campaign:

The bad news is that in the first two voting states, he's trailing. In fact, according to an average of the polls, he's running in fourth place in both Iowa and New Hampshire. If that holds, it will place Biden on the perilous side of history. Traditionally, the results from Iowa and New Hampshire play a dramatic role in winnowing and clarifying presidential fields. Since the dawn of the Democratic Party's modern presidential primary system in the 1970s, no candidate has lost contested races in both Iowa and New Hampshire and still gone on to win the nomination.

On the brighter side for Team Joe, several new polls show him in virtual ties for first place in both Iowa and New Hampshire.  As you look at these Hawkeye State numbers, pay attention to the Klobuchar surge and the ongoing, across-the-board Warren swoon (this same poll shows impeachment 12 points underwater in Iowa, with rising approval for Trump):


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