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Fifty percent. That’s the percentage of American voters who now think President Donald Trump should both be impeached and removed from office, according to a poll last week from POLITICO/Morning Consult. While the responses split largely along Democratic and Republican partisan lines, there was small movement that was not good news for the president: a slight uptick in both Democrats and Republicans supporting impeachment.

That pretty much lines up with how metro New Orleans (which includes surrounding parishes) is thinking. In advance of the last of three gubernatorial debates, Gray Television commissioned a poll from Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy regarding impeachment and found 48% of those in metro New Orleans also support impeachment.

Louisiana as a whole, however, remains behind Donald Trump — but not nearly as staunchly as in 2016. The Gray Television poll found 51% of Louisiana voters would vote to re-elect the president, while 43% would replace him with an unspecified Democrat. Trump’s current level of support in Louisiana is far less than the 58% of the vote he got in 2016.

Last week, The Washington Post tallied up where the 53 Republican U.S. Senators stand on impeachment and found 14 (mostly in swing states) have expressed reservations or said they had concerns, while 39 “support Trump unequivocally.” Not surprisingly, the latter category included both Louisiana senators, Bill Cassidy and John Neely Kennedy.

Cassidy, who faces re-election next year, insisted that nothing in the transcript of the call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky was improper, while Kennedy said of impeachment, “I think some of my Democratic friends are acting in good faith; I don't have enough facts to agree with them. … My advice to them, and I say this gently: Fill out a 'Hurt Feelings Report,’ and let's move on.”

Here are some facts Kennedy and other Republicans ought to consider, and we don’t say this gently: Trump admitted to the call; the transcript, although redacted in spots, still bolsters the anonymous whistleblower’s account of the call; and the transcript clearly shows Trump sought a quid pro quo from Ukraine — military aid in exchange for help with Trump’s re-election. The biggest fact of all: Merely asking a foreign government for campaign help is an impeachable offense; no quid pro quo is required.

Trump created another mess last week when he unilaterally changed Mideast foreign policy after a conversation with Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The president ordered American troops protecting the Kurds to stand down, a move that shocked military officials and drew rare bipartisan rebukes, even from some of Trump’s most ardent apologists in Washington D.C.

Trump also has stonewalled the impeachment process itself, a strategy that his defenders likely will find increasingly difficult to defend in the weeks to come.

The people to watch in this process aren’t Trump or Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — they’re Kennedy, Cassidy and other senators who will sit as jurors in any impeachment trial. If Trump’s support among his current apologists starts to soften, it’s a sure sign that his poll numbers are caving. Even boot-licking sycophants won’t protect a president who insists that he is above the law when voters turn against him.

This is a commentary from Gambit, produced independently from reporters at the paper.