Recent polling from Gallup shows that Americans approved more of congressional Republicans’ job performance than that of congressional Democrats following the conclusion of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial last month.
In the numbers released Tuesday, congressional Republicans’ job approval rating stood at 40%, compared with 35% for Democrats. Compared with Gallup results from October — a month after the start of the House’s impeachment efforts against President Donald Trump — Republicans saw an approval increase of six percentage points, while Democrats saw a decrease of three.
The telephone survey was conducted February 17-28 on a random sample of 1,020 Americans aged eighteen or over and has a 4% margin of error. It was the first such poll the company had conducted since Trump was impeached by the House in December and subsequently acquitted in the Senate, a post from Gallup’s Megan Brennan about the results explains.
The results also show that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) got a post-impeachment approval bump.
“McConnell’s favorability rating has increased by six points since October to 33% now, because of a 15-point jump to 62% among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents,” Brennan writes.
“Although, on a relative basis, McConnell’s favorability is not particularly high, it is his highest rating since Gallup’s first reading in 2010, and it is well above his personal low of 18% in 2015, the year he became the majority leader.”
In contrast, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) saw her unfavorable numbers rise in the February poll.
The speaker’s favorability “is roughly the same as it was in October,” Brennan explains, but her unfavorability level among Americans increased five percentage points from 50% to 55% during the same time period — just one point below where it was just before the 2010 midterm elections when Republicans took control of the House.
The results follow Gallup results released just before the end of the impeachment trial early last month, which found that President Trump had the highest job approval rating of his presidency at 49%, while the Republican Party’s image polled at its highest level since 2005.
But while Gallup’s numbers show Republicans appear to have benefited in public opinion as a result of Congress’ impeachment efforts, things might change as the news cycle’s focus shifts to other matters going forward.
“In the coming months, as Americans’ memories of the impeachment fade, their opinions of political leaders may change,” Brennan concludes. “The coronavirus outbreak and the Democratic presidential nominating contests have already largely superseded Trump’s impeachment in the news.”