Day 6

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

The House Judiciary Committee has been asked to draft articles of impeachment. Will that move the needle? FiveThirtyEight politics editor Sarah Frostenson delivers this week's reading.

The House Judiciary Committee has been asked to draft articles of impeachment. Will that move the needle?

(Ben Shannon/CBC)
Listen3:41

When Donald Trump generates headlines, Day 6 fires up the "Impeach-O-Meter," inviting political experts to estimate the odds that Donald Trump will be impeached by the House of Representatives.

These are, of course, subjective and hypothetical scores and the impeachment process is complex and dependent on many factors.

On Thursday, Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi asked House Democrats to begin drafting articles of impeachment against U.S. President Donald Trump.

That is the final step before a vote in the House of Representatives on whether to impeach the president — a vote that Democrats would like to push through before Christmas.

Pelosi's move came just days after three out of four constitutional scholars testified that Trump's efforts to have Ukraine investigate his political rivals are indeed grounds for impeachment.

So we're firing up the Day 6 Impeach-O-Meter for another reading.

Every few weeks, we ask a political expert to weigh in on the odds that Donald Trump will be impeached by the House of Representatives, from one — meaning totally safe in the White House — to 100, meaning impeachment is imminent.

When we last checked on Nov. 15, Salon senior political writer Amanda Marcotte raised the Impeach-O-Meter reading to 99 per cent

This week, we asked Sarah Frostenson, politics editor with the FiveThirtyEight, to give us her reading.

Here's part of what she told Day 6:

This week it was crucial for the Democrats to take a step back, present their evidence and then bring in legal, constitutional experts to contextualize what they had found, and three of the witnesses they called spoke to the idea that Trump had in fact committed an impeachable offence.

The one witness that the Republicans called didn't rule out the possibility that Trump had committed an impeachable offence, but argued that there simply wasn't enough evidence at this point, saying that the process was too rushed. And so that could, perhaps, weaken some of the court of public opinion moving forward with this.

I think it brings us closer to Democrats drafting the articles of impeachment by the end of the year and it [the impeachment process] moving to a Senate trial. Whether that means public opinion will shift in such a way that he will actually be impeached and removed from office, I'm far more skeptical of.

(Ben Shannon/CBC)

So, where does Sarah Frostenson place the odds of a Donald Trump impeachment this week?

"99 per cent," she said.

That keeps the Impeach-O-Meter at its highest ever reading.

We'll continue to track the numbers in the weeks to come, and you can follow along here.

Editor's note: When we started the Impeach-O-Meter, we settled on getting people who watch U.S. politics closely to estimate the odds that Donald Trump's presidency would "end in impeachment." We've come to realize that it wasn't always clear whether that meant that the U.S. House of Representatives would vote to impeach him or that additionally, the U.S. Senate would vote to remove him from office as a result of being impeached by the House of Representatives. 

We've always intended that to mean being impeached by the House of Representatives, so for the sake of clarity, we've changed the language to "the odds that Donald Trump will be impeached by the House of Representatives." 


To hear Sarah Frostenson give her Impeach-O-Meter prediction, download our podcast or click Listen above.