New polling on the approval rating of Donald Trump released on Friday should give GOP lawmakers still supporting the president pause as they seek re-election in 2020, writes conservative Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post.
As the columnist notes, "The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll should send a shudder through the Republican Party. Only 38 percent of Americans approve of President Trump’s performance, while 58 percent disapprove, 48 percent strongly so. The majority of the poll was taken after the killing of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (for which a majority gives Trump credit)."
With Trump's public impeachment hearings to be conducted by the Democratic-controlled House just around the corner -- and unlikely to help the president with anyone but his most die-hard supporters -- Rubin suggests Republicans already struggling with re-election might want to rethink their priorities.
"If they [GOP candidates] drill down on Trump’s approval numbers, Republicans might go into full panic mode. His approval numbers are atrocious among women (31/64), white college graduates (38/61), women college graduates (32/67), suburban dwellers (41/56) and independents (38/57). Among suburban women he trails 33 to 63 percent. He is surviving almost entirely on white evangelicals (74/23).
The top takeaways from this survey should be sobering for Republicans," she advised.
In particular, she noted multiple Republican lawmakers who are already in the fight of their lives to hold onto their Senate seats in what is expected to be a high-turnout election.
"Unless you are a Senate Republican from a state with a whole lot of white evangelicals, association with Trump may be injurious to your political survival," Rubin explained "That should leave lawmakers such as Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) from states with less than 26 percent white evangelicals looking to separate themselves from Trump (and consider breaking with him on impeachment)."
"Republicans who deny Trump did anything wrong might want to think how that is going to play when even before they hear the evidence directly, 55 percent say he did something wrong, 47 percent seriously so. They might want to start thinking how they can exact some punishment — and throw him overboard before he drags the entire party under in 2020," she added, before concluding, "If Republicans ever break free of their irrational fear of Trump and his base (whose power is amplified by gerrymandering and the electoral college), they might recognize that saving him is becoming incompatible with saving themselves."
You can read the whole piece here.