President Donald Trump (right) talks with former Maine Gov. Paul LePage during a 2016 campaign rally at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. Credit: Ashley L. Conti | BDN

AUGUSTA, Maine — More than half of Mainers disapprove of President Donald Trump, but his approval rating held steady over the last five months as House Democrats’ impeachment process moves forward but looks to be changing relatively few minds so far.

In Maine, 42 percent of people approved of the Republican president’s performance every month from July to November 2019, according to polling from Morning Consult, which regularly tracks state-level approval ratings. At the same time, 55 percent of Mainers disapproved.

The state is a good microcosm of the U.S. on Trump, who lost Maine in the 2016 election but picked up one Electoral College vote from the 2nd Congressional District. His national approval rating in early November was 43 percent to 54 percent disapproval, according to Gallup.

On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, announced Democrats were drafting articles of impeachment against Trump a day after the House Judiciary Committee began its impeachment hearings. Democrats kicked off the process in October in the wake of news about a July call in which the U.S. president lobbied the Ukrainian leader to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, the leading candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

The Maine data elucidates a delicate question on impeachment for the two members of the state’s congressional delegation up for nationally targeted re-election races in 2020 — Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican, and Rep. Jared Golden, a Democrat from the swing 2nd District.

Collins has largely refused to comment on the House impeachment process, citing her role as a juror if the House sends the question of removing Trump from office. Golden was a holdout on his party’s impeachment process before voting in October to move the process forward while stressing that he hasn’t decided how he would vote on articles of impeachment.

Collins’ 2018 vote to confirm U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh led national Democrats to prioritize ousting her in next year’s election. Four Democrats — House Speaker Sara Gideon, lobbyist Betsy Sweet, former Google executive Ross Lajeunesse and lawyer Bre Kidman — are running for the nomination to take on Collins in 2020.

Golden narrowly beat Republican incumbent Bruce Poliquin in a 2018 race decided by ranked-choice voting. Three of the four candidates in the Republican primary — former state Sen. Eric Brakey, former Rep. Dale Crafts and Adrienne Bennett, a former spokesperson for Gov. Paul LePage — have raced to embrace Trump while pressuring Golden on impeachment.

Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd

Michael Shepherd joined the Bangor Daily News in 2015 after three years as a reporter at the Kennebec Journal. A Hallowell native who now lives in Augusta, he graduated from the University of Maine in...