Support for Donald Trump's Impeachment Is Higher than His Re-election Chances

More than four in 10 Americans support impeachment hearings for Donald Trump, according to a new poll. Spencer Platt / Getty

Donald Trump is hemorrhaging support among the American people, and now more than 40 percent of them think it's time to start the process to impeach him, a new poll finds. The number is higher than the percentage of Americans who said they planned to vote for the president in the 2020 election.

Related: Trump's approval rating is lower than any other president at the end of his first year

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey, out Wednesday, carried very little good news for the president and put him on notice that 41 percent of Americans believe there is enough reason for Congress to hold impeachment hearings, even before the conclusion of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. The poll found that 70 percent of Democrats, 40 percent of independents and even 7 percent of Republicans are in favor of the hearings.

The number of people calling for impeachment proceedings to get underway closely parallels the 38 percent of Americans who believe Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election.

The White House has both publicly and privately suggested that Mueller's investigation will come to an end early in the new year, but that would appear to be wishful thinking. Recent reports have indicated that Mueller and his team could be working at least through the 2018 midterm elections and possibly even beyond.

Two weeks ago, Democratic Representative Al Green forced a vote on the floor of the House to bring articles of impeachment against Trump. The vote failed, but 58 Democrats supported Green's move.

Americans' desire for impeachment wasn't the only bad news for Trump in this poll. If he does survive his first term without being impeached, his chances of re-election are looking extremely bleak.

Just 36 percent of respondents said they would probably or definitely vote for Trump against a generic Democratic candidate. Conversely, 52 percent said they would probably or definitely "vote for the other party." Such numbers would clearly leave Trump with no path toward a second term.

Of course, the election is still three years away, and most Democratic candidates won't declare their intention to run until 2019. But the numbers paint an ominous picture for the president. Asked whether they approved or disapproved of the job Trump is doing, just 41 percent of respondents said they strongly or somewhat approved. Meanwhile, 56 percent said they strongly or somewhat disapproved.

Equally troubling for Trump is the erosion of support from some of his strongest support groups. Only 43 percent of Republicans said they would "definitely" support the president in 2020, while an additional 40 percent of Republicans hedged, only willing to say they would "probably" support his bid for re-election.

By comparison, Democratic respondents presented a more unified front, with 73 percent saying they would "definitely" vote for the Democratic candidate. Additionally, just 47 percent of white voters without a college degree said they would support Trump in 2020, down 19 points from the support he received in 2016's election.

Lastly, when asked if the country was in better or worse shape than before Trump assumed office, the president received one final rebuke. Just 30 percent of respondents said the country was better off, while nearly half of Americans, 45 percent, said the United States was worse off.