Day 6

Trump's odds of staying in office: The Day 6 Impeach-O-Meter for March 16

The Globe and Mail's Joanna Slater weighs in on whether this week's news out of Washington will move the needle.

When Donald Trump generates headlines, Day 6 fires up the "Impeach-O-Meter," inviting political experts to estimate the odds his presidency will end in impeachment. These are, of course, subjective and hypothetical scores and the impeachment process is complex and dependent on many factors.

Republicans were rattled this week by Democrat Conor Lamb's slim victory in Pennsylvania. 

The victory came in a congressional district that Donald Trump won by 20 points in 2016, and it's seen by some as a sign of bigger upsets to come in next fall's mid-terms.

In fact, one conservative newspaper tried to rally Republican voters by warning that a Lamb win could spark a "Democratic wave" that might even lead to President Trump's impeachment.

So we're firing up the Day 6 Impeach-O-Meter to see if the week's events have shifted the needle.

Every few weeks, we're checking in on the odds of U.S. President Donald Trump's impeachment, from one — meaning totally safe in the White House — to 100, meaning impeachment is imminent.

When we last checked in, Politico reporter Darren Samuelsohn put the odds of impeachment at a record low of only 10 per cent — plummeting 55 per cent from the previous prediction.  

This week, Globe and Mail foreign correspondent Joanna Slater gave us her reading. Here's what she had to say:

"So when it comes to impeachment the main thing that matters is special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. That said, there were a couple of things that happened this week that could have a bearing on impeachment.

The first is President Trump firing his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. That doesn't in itself matter, but if President Trump is starting a process of cleaning house in his cabinet, one of the main people he dislikes is Attorney General Jeff Sessions. If he were to remove him it could be considered evidence that he is attempting to obstruct justice.

At the same time, on Tuesday we had a closely watched special election in Pennsylvania where the Democrat eked out a tight victory over his Republican opponent. That's bad news for Republicans because it was a district which Donald Trump won by 20 percentage points over Hillary Clinton. So given the results of that special election, the odds of the Democrats taking back control of the House in November have increased and therefore the risk of impeachment has slightly increased as well."

So where does Slater place the probability of a Donald Trump impeachment this week?

"15 per cent."

That marks a slight increase of 5 per cent over our last prediction. 

That's this week's edition of the Impeach-O-Meter. We'll continue to track the numbers in the weeks to come — and you can follow along here.

To hear Joanna Slater give her Impeach-O-Meter prediction, download our podcast or click the 'Listen' button at the top of this page.