What are the chances of President Donald Trump being impeached? The answer is that at the moment there aren't enough Republican senators who would vote to impeach President. But on the downside for Trump, support for his impeachment is rising in the Republican ranks.
Even as Trump doubled down on his efforts to douse the fires from the 'Ukraine gate' by releasing the transcript of the call with the Ukrainian president, his latest action in the Middle East has helped erode crucial support within the Republican base.
Trump's decision to throw the hapless Kurds in northern Syria under the bus invited widespread criticism. This single factor has earned him new detractors within the conservative core of the party. The Democrats, who hope to pass the article of impeachment in the House they control, have been unequivocal in their condemnation of Trump over his Turkey move.
A couple of recent polls have also shown where the wind is blowing. To the consternation of Trump, a poll by Fox News has shown that as many as 51 percent of Americans want him impeached and removed from office. An alarmed Trump lashed out at Fox News, which has always been a solid bedrock of support for Trump.
In another crucial poll, the Business Insider said that about 40 percent of respondents said they think vice-president Mike Pence would make a better president.
No president has ever been impeached and removed from office in the US history. But if a bunch of Republican senators join hands with the Democrats to achieve the magic number of 67 in the Senate, then Trump could go. All depends on how Trump retains the trust of the core GOP base in the coming days. If the above mentioned polls are any indication, the typical trust Trump has enjoyed within the GOP may have been shaken.
What will Mike Pence bring to presidency?
Pence has been a low profile vice-president, a perfect counterfoil to acerbic and argumentative Trump. Though Pence takes support from the springwell of core GOP values such as evangelical christianity and pro-life policies, it's Trump who has enjoyed greater support within that bloc. But a hard look at the stability Pence could bring to White House, and a greater plausibility of Republicans retaining presidency in 2020 through a putative Pence leadership might look attractive to Republicans who have not made up their mind on impeachment vote.
Pence, a former member of the Tea Party, the most conservative section of the House Republican caucus, is a perfect choice for president in tumultuous times, from a Republican angle.
"As the incumbent next year, he would be the front runner, and he would present himself as a stable grown-up and a reliable conservative," says an analysis in Newsweek.