Plurality in battleground states support Trump's impeachment: poll

A plurality of voters in key battleground states support impeaching and removing President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders urges impeachment trial 'quickly' in the Senate US sending 20,000 troops to Europe for largest exercises since Cold War Barr criticizes FBI, says it's possible agents acted in 'bad faith' in Trump probe MORE from office, according to new data from Priorities USA, a Democratic super PAC.

Priorities USA surveyed 2,500 voters in Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — four states that went for Trump in 2016 — and found that 49 percent support impeachment and removal, compared to 45 percent who oppose it. 

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The worst margins for Trump are in Florida, where 51 percent of respondents support impeachment and 45 oppose it. In Michigan, 50 percent support impeachment and removal compared to 45 percent who are opposed.

The margins are closer in Wisconsin, at 48 percent-45 percent in support of impeachment and removal, and in Pennsylvania, where voters are split 47 percent-47 percent.

The data finds that voters increasingly view “corruption” as a reason to replace Trump: fifty-three percent of respondents cited “corruption” as a reason Trump should not get a second term, matching health care as the top problem spot for the president. 

The survey comes as the House launched its first public hearings on impeachment on Wednesday, as Democrats investigate Trump's interactions with Ukraine. Trump is also facing legal challenges on a number of fronts.

“One thing that we notice that has changed is that ‘corruption’ continues to rise and is starting to match other issues that people have mentioned,” said Priorities USA chairman Guy Cecil. 

“So you have two things happening concurrently here — the number of people that are now offering that they’re hearing more negative things about Donald Trump is significantly increasing, so you have people citing Ukraine and impeachment and citing things they’re hearing in the news, and you have it happening at the same time that they’re feeling less and less sure about their economic future and more concerned about health care, taxes and wages.”

The Priorities USA data also finds Trump’s advantage on the economy has eroded over the past few months, as voters have become increasingly anxious about their fiscal situations.

In May, Trump posted a positive 55 percent-45 percent approval rating on the economy in the four battleground states. That dropped to 52 percent-48 percent in August, and now sits at 50 percent-50 percent, a 10-point drop in seven months. 

“We’ve seen stark declines in a number of critical areas when it comes to Trump and the economy,” Cecil said.

There has been an 8-point drop in that time among voters saying they’re satisfied with their economic situation, with 42 percent now saying satisfied, 32 percent unsatisfied and 27 percent somewhat satisfied. 

And for the first time in Priorities USA polling, a plurality of respondents, 44 percent, see the economy as a reason to replace Trump. Only 41 percent view the economy as a reason to reelect the president. 

“On Michigan and Wisconsin, there’s no question the impacts of the trade war and the empty promises on manufacturing are coming home to roost,” Cecil said.

If the election were held today, the Priorities USA poll has a generic Democrat winning 307 electoral votes, compared to 231 for Trump. It takes 270 votes to win the White House.

Trump won 304 electoral votes in 2016, compared to 227 for Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDOJ backs ex-Trump campaign aide Rick Gates's probation request The media have fallen out of love with Bernie, but have voters? Trump request for Ukrainian 'favor' tops notable quote list MORE

The poll finds the generic Democrat winning back Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, while Trump hangs on for narrow victories in North Carolina and Arizona. 

However, Cecil noted that several of the battleground states that Priorities USA presently has in the Democratic column are on a knife’s edge and could go either way. 

“The election is incredibly close,” Cecil said. 

“Very small changes in the president’s favorable numbers, very small changes in how we are doing either with the Democratic base or by working-class voters, actually makes significant changes in the Electoral College.”

Cecil pointed to a lack of enthusiasm to vote among African Americans and young voters as a potential problem spot for Democrats.

And he noted that the party must do more to reach out to white voters who do not have a college education.

“It’s a huge challenge for us and we have to make sure we’re talking to those who are open to it,” Cecil said. “They gave the finger to the establishment and took a chance on Trump and the risk hasn’t worked … and we can’t let Trump do what he did in 2016, which is monopolize the conversation with them.”

Still, Priorities found Trump’s job approval at its lowest point yet, at 43 percent positive and 57 percent negative. A strong majority of voters in all four states have unfavorable views of the president.

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And for the first time since Priorities began polling, they found an edge in enthusiasm among Democratic voters in battleground states, with 81 percent saying they’re motivated, compared to 76 percent of Republicans.

Priorities USA will spend $100 million this cycle, primarily on advertising, election infrastructure and voter mobilization efforts in Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. The group will also invest in Arizona, as well as two states that went for Clinton in 2016: New Hampshire and Nevada.

The Democratic super PAC ran an analysis of Facebook and Google ad spending, and found it has spent millions more than the Trump campaign this year in Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

The majority of the Trump campaign’s digital expenditures this year have been in California and New York, which will almost certainly be carried by the Democratic nominee.

Cecil said this was evidence the Trump campaign is going all-in on finding new supporters and donors who sat out the 2016 election, rather than focusing on persuading undecided or swing voters

“It’s not because Donald Trump thinks he’s going to win either California or New York,” Cecil said. “It’s because … almost the entire focus … has been on acquisition, fundraising and selling MAGA hats."

"The Trump campaign is very clear, they believe their strategy to winning the election is to find nonvoters from 2016 that believe like, look like, and behave like a Trump voter from 2016," he added. "They believe their path to winning is by expanding the number of people from 2016 who voted for them, not around [persuading undecided or Democratic voters].”