Quarter of Americans think Trump will leave office early

03 January 2019 Consulting.us 4 min. read
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A recent survey from communications and market research firm Regina Corso Consulting found that 25% of Americans surveyed expect President Donald Trump to leave office before November 2020.

The Trump campaign and presidency has been a catalog of scandals, gaffes, and potentially some ‘light treason,’ in the words of Arrested Development family patriarch and real estate developer George Bluth. Numerous US agencies have affirmed that Russia intervened in the US election to help skew voters to Trump; what remains to be seen is what connection the Trump campaign had with the Russian hacking and trolling activities. The ongoing Mueller investigation continues to dig into the possibility that the Trump campaign colluded with Russian agents to influence the election.

One cooperative figure in the investigation is Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, who was recently hit with a three-year sentence for lying to Congress about an aborted deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, a range of financial crimes, and for paying ‘hush money’ to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal. Cohen has reportedly logged 70 hours in interviews with Mueller’s prosecutors and other federal investigators.

According to an unverified intelligence dossier from former British spy Christopher Steele, during the presidential campaign in August 2016 Cohen traveled to Prague to meet with Kremlin officials to discuss possible payment for hackers working against Hillary Clinton’s campaign. One of the intelligence reports said the meeting concerned how deniable the cash payments could realistically be made, and to discuss contingencies for covering up contact with Russian agents. Cohen has denied ever being in the Czech Republic.

Quarter of Americans think Trump will leave office early

At crux is the conclusion of the Mueller investigation, and what truths it can reveal about the Trump administration’s dealings. President Trump has called Cohen a ‘weak person and not a very smart person,’ and has continued to vehemently deny any collusion with Russian state actors. A couple of weeks before Cohen was sentenced, Trump tweeted: “When will this illegal Joseph McCarthy style Witch Hunt, one that has shattered so many innocent lives, ever end-or will it just go on forever? After wasting more than $40,000,000 (is that possible?), it has proven only one thing-there was NO Collusion with Russia. So Ridiculous!”

Now that the Democrats have a majority of the House, many commentators expect them to start impeachment proceedings, especially if they receive any more ammo from Mueller. Journalist Elizabeth Drew, who covered the Watergate scandal, believes impeachment is inevitable and that there is already sufficient evidence to impeach the embattled president.

While the conventional view is that the Republican-controlled Senate would never convict Trump, some commentators like Drew believe that the party would act in the interest of self-preservation, jettisoning a president who has potentially become too great burden for the Republican Party, or too great a danger to the country (and the world).

Another possible scenario is that Trump resigns when faced with criminal charges or indictment outside of the presidency – obviously angling for a pardon deal as the payment for his resignation. Similarly, Nixon was never impeached or convicted, since he resigned beforehand and was immediately pardoned by President Ford. Perhaps history will repeat itself.

On the other hand, the Mueller investigation could drag on without any new significant revelations, while the Senate denies a conviction of impeachment as Republicans ‘circle the wagons.’ It is also firmly within the realm of possibility that Trump finishes his term, and indeed wins a second election.

Survey says...

According to a December survey of 2,174 US adults conducted by Regina Corso Consulting, 25% of the public believe that Trump will leave office before November 2020. The results were highly skewed by party affiliation, with 37% of Democrats saying he would leave office early, and only 9% of Republicans saying so.

Meanwhile, 38% of all respondents said Trump would be re-elected, and 37% said he would lose re-election. Once again divided by party affiliation, 70% of Republicans said he would be re-elected, while only 15% of Democrats said Trump would win a second term.

In the end, 62% of the surveyed American public did not expect Trump to see a second term.

The research and communication consultancy’s survey also tapped into some of the public bafflement over the social and political circus of 2010s America. Regina Corso asked the rather odd question of whether respondents wondered if they were part of a reality show for another planet. 53% responded affirmatively (59% of Democrats, 47% of Republicans) to the Truman Show-esque query – down from last year’s 63% of respondents.