(CN) – President Donald Trump’s approval rating got a boost amid impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives – proceedings supported by a diminishing number of Americans according to polling data released Thursday.
The Emerson poll shows Trump’s approval rating bumped up five points from last month, with 48% approving and 47% disapproving.
While more people approve of the president this month, fewer approve of the effort to impeach him. as the impeachment inquiry moves forward, approval for the impeachment inquiry itself has slid. The poll shows the impeachment effort is supported by 43% of Americans and opposed by 45%, down slightly from October when 48% supported impeachment and 44% disapproved.
This dip in support is largely due to a shift by independents, a group that previous polls have shown to be largely split on the issue of impeachment. Now the gap is widening, with 49% of independents saying they are against impeachment and only 34% support it. This stands in stark contrast to October’s poll which showed nearly half (49%) of independents supported impeachment and 39% opposed it.
These numbers continue to move as more voters tune in to the impeachment hearings: 69% of voters say they are either watching or following the effort on the news.
Regarding support for Trump within in own party as he seeks re-election, data shows Trump’s Republican base continues to overwhelmingly support him. Among Republican primary voters, 93% of voters support the president over his primary challengers, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld and former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh.
In hypothetical one-on-one matchups between Trump and potential Democratic opponents in 2020, however, the race becomes much tighter. Trump manages to win in a direct contest against former Vice President Joe and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg by two and four points respectively. A matchup between Trump and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren results in a tie, according to Thursday’s poll.
The only Democratic candidate who beats Trump in a head-to-head, according to the poll, is Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders – by a single point.
Among Democratic primary voters, Sanders and Biden currently lead the contest to determine which Democrat will take on Trump in next year’s general election. Both candidates are tied at 27% among Democratic primary voters, with Warren in third at 20%. Rounding out the top five is Buttigieg at 7% and businessman Andrew Yang at 4%.
No other candidate cracked 4% support in the poll.
Data show the top two candidates are receiving their support from opposite age groups within the Democratic party. Sanders continues to lead with voters under 50, enjoying 37% support from the group. Biden, meanwhile, holds strong among voters over 50, with 44% support.
Emerson Polling director Spencer Kimball says Warren should be worried that these numbers continue to show Biden and Sanders at the front of the pack.
“Biden and Sanders continue to hold their bases, which should concern Warren, as she has waited for one of the front-runners to slip these past few months – yet, their support seems to be crystalizing,” Kimball said with the release of the poll.
Sanders as well continues to maintain the most passionate and committed voter base, according to the poll. Of Sanders’ supporters, 71% say their support is locked in and will absolutely vote for him in the coming primary and caucus contests. Biden’s supporters are also largely committed, with 60% claiming they will not defect to another candidate. Warren and Buttigieg have slightly less determined support, with 46% and 31% of voters, respectively, voicing the same sentiment for the candidates.
The poll does not offer good news for the newest candidates to enter the Democratic race, former New York City governor Michael Bloomberg and former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick. Both men received less than 1% support.
Kimball believes that these numbers suggest that there is only one path forward for candidates such as these two.
“The only angle and hope candidates like Bloomberg or Patrick have for the nomination – is a brokered convention, and while unlikely, the elimination of Super Delegates in 2020 makes it more possible though it hasn’t happened since 1952 for either party,” Kimball said with the release of the poll.
The poll surveyed 1,092 registered voters and contains a 2.9% margin of error.