America’s top political forecaster is now saying the chances of Trump’s removal from office are at least 50 percent.
That analysis comes from Nate Silver, who runs the Five Thirty Eight blog. Silver is one of the most successful political analysts of modern times – he correctly predicted the outcome of more states in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections than anyone else. Additionally, he was one of the only non-partisan forecasters who said Trump had a realistic chance of beating Hillary Clinton last November.
In other words, Silver is better at predicting political outcomes than almost anyone else in the country.
For one prediction earlier this year, Silver analyzed a long list of factors and historical precedents and found that the likelihood of Trump leaving office before his term is up is between 25 and 50 percent right now – however, that could easily change.
If Republicans have reason to think Trump has become a liability even in red states — look out. History suggests Trump could be vulnerable under such circumstances, despite the historical rarity of impeachment. Here’s how to think about the chances.
… If Congress is looking for reasons to impeach Trump, it already has some plausible ones — and it will probably wind up with more before long. This factor substantially contributes to the likelihood of Trump being removed from office.
In recent weeks, talk of impeachment has been heating up in a major way, as Silver points out:
- Sen. Angus King of Maine, an independent, told CNN that recent allegations, if true, are already making impeachment hearings more likely.
- Rep. Al Green, a Democrat from Texas, became the first congressman to call for Trump’s impeachment from the House floor.
- Even some Republicans in blue-leaning districts, such as Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida, have begun to entertain impeachment as a possibility.
As many observers have pointed out, the most likely scenario for Trump’s removal would be if the Democrats are able to win a majority of legislative seats over from the Republicans during the 2018 midterm elections.
Read more, from Five Thirty Eight:
The easiest-to-imagine scenario for Trump being removed is if Republicans get clobbered in the midterms after two years of trying to defend Trump, the Republican agenda is in shambles, Democrats begin impeachment proceedings in early 2019, and just enough Republicans decide that Pence (or some fresh face with no ties to the Trump White House) gives them a better shot to avoid total annihilation in 2020.
In some sense, then, the most important indicators of Trump’s impeachment odds are the ones you’d always use to monitor the political environment: presidential approval ratings, the generic congressional ballot and (if taken with appropriate grains of salt) special election results. What makes this time a little different is that if Republicans think the ship is sinking, impeachment may give them an opportunity to throw their president overboard first.
Things do not look good for Donald!