Trump’s poll rating hits all-time low as he prepares to leave office

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Donald Trump - Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
Donald Trump - Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Donald Trump will leave office with his approval rating at an all-time low, according to a new poll.

Mr Trump is now likely to complete his term in the White House with Mike Pence, the vice president, refusing to invoke the 25th amendment to remove him from office and an impeachment hearing due to begin after Joe Biden is inaugurated.

The storming of Capitol Hill and Mr Trump’s refusal to accept that Mr Biden won the election has caused considerable damage to his reputation, a poll by Pew Research has found.

His approval rating has slumped to 29 per cent – a fall of nine points since last August. Ominously for Mr Trump, who is said to be planning to run for the White House in 2024, his rating among Republicans has plummeted even more spectacularly.

According to the poll, which was taken on Friday, Mr Trump’s performance was approved by 60 per cent of Republicans – a17-point drop.

The disenchantment among rank and file Republicans is mirrored in Washington with a rift widening between Mr Trump’s loyal supporters - who are especially strong in the House of Representatives – and mainstream members of the party.

It was a gulf which was laid bare when Congress met to confirm the results of the election.

In the lower house, the overwhelming majority of Republicans voted to oppose the ratification of the result.

But in the Senate only a handful, led by former presidential candidate Ted Cruz, did so.

The polarisation between the moderate and insurgent conservative wings of the party has been widened by the election to the lower house of supporters of the QAnon movement, which believes in a raft of conspiracy theories.

But over the weekend, senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska launched a withering attack on QAnon in an op-ed in The Atlantic, accusing the group of destroying the party from within.

In the short term, the rift is most likely to manifest itself when the Senate considers whether to impeach Mr Trump for a second time.

With the exception of former presidential candidate and Utah senator Mitt Romney, the Republican ranks held firm and refused to convict Mr Trump in the first impeachment trial.

More Republicans are expected to break ranks this time around, with Mr Romney likely to be joined by several others including Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, is reportedly undecided on whether to back impeachment.

South Carolina senator and presidential ally Lindsey Graham said he resolutely opposes impeachment, which if passed would prevent Mr Trump from running for office.

“The Senate should vote to dismiss the article of impeachment once it is received in the Senate. We will be delaying indefinitely, if not forever, the healing of this great Nation if we do otherwise,” he wrote on Twitter.