The current political situation is summed up fairly succinctly by two new polls out this week. A Monmouth Poll on Trump released Monday finds that 52 percent of Americans disapprove of the president and that 41 percent believe he should be impeached. (In the early days of the Watergate scandal in July 1973, Gallup found that only 24 percent of Americans believed Nixon should be impeached.) Obviously, the partisan divide on this question is stark. Seventy percent of Democrats are for impeachment, while only 32 percent of independents and 12 percent of Republicans agree. Monmouth’s poll additionally shows that Americans have not bought the administration’s defenses of Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russians during the campaign. The Monmouth poll finds that 59 percent of Americans believe the meeting was inappropriate, including 86 percent of Democrats, 58 percent of independents, and 28 percent of Republicans.
On the surface, this would seem like good news for the Democrats at the forefront of the Resistance. The bad news, however, is that to most Americans, the Resistance has very clearly subsumed the party’s identity in a negative way. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll from Sunday finds that 52 percent of Americans don’t believe the party stands for anything beyond opposing Trump. That includes not only majorities of the white working-class voters whom some Democratic strategists have puzzled over how to win back (65 percent of white noncollege men and 51 percent of white noncollege women). But it also includes a significant number of nonwhite voters typically within the Democratic fold—they’re almost evenly split on this question with 43 percent saying the party stands for something beyond resisting Trump and 42 percent saying the party does not. Americans are clearly interested in and largely disapproving of the constantly unfolding Russia imbroglio. They’d also like to hear the Democratic Party put forward an affirmative vision or message beyond a desire to boot Trump out of office. As the House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley told the Associated Press last week, “that message is still being worked on.”