The Democrats seem committed to impeaching President Trump. At some level they’ve decided that impeachment will help them in 2020. I suspect part of this dynamic is driven by the fact that the Democrats only control the House and most of the federal bureaucracy and so they know that their chance of passing any significant legislation to mobilize their base approaches zero and one way of diverting attention from the lunacy of about a third of Democrat House members is by peddling the narrative that “we were obstructed by an illegitimate president and we impeached him.”
Let’s take a look at some of the polling:
Impeaching Trump,@YouGovUS/@HuffPost (9/24-26):
Support 47% (+8)
Oppose 39%@maristpoll/@NPR/@NewsHour (9/25):
Support 49% (+3)
Support 44% (+3)
Oppose 41%@MorningConsult/@politico (9/24-26):
Oppose 43% pic.twitter.com/e6fqdnIS0Z
— Political Polls (@Politics_Polls) September 26, 2019
— Political Polls (@Politics_Polls) September 27, 2019
Because we don’t do this kind of thing very often, it is more than a little uncertain what all this means. National Review, frames it this way: Plurality of Americans Support Impeaching Trump. You can nearly imagine David French and a couple of others forming an impromptu conga line replete with fruity drinks in coconut shells with festive paper umbrellas.
To me there are several interesting points.
Trump retains about 90% support from Republicans. That indicates that the bullsh** Jeff Flake was slinging was just that, bullsh**.
Fmr. Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake: "At least 35" Republican senators would privately vote for Trump's impeachment. https://t.co/bBTRvy1eRK
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 28, 2019
If 90% of GOP voters oppose impeachment there is no possible universe win which over half the GOP Senate caucus would vote to convict President Trump.
Independents are evenly divided on the subject.
We really don’t know the intensity of the independents but there are some factoids in the NRO article that bear considering:
A Marist/NPR/PBS NewsHour survey, meanwhile, taken on Wednesday, found that nearly half of Americans support impeachment. Forty-nine percent of respondents said they favor impeaching Trump, while 46 percent said they oppose it. Half of respondents said they think the inquiry is a “serious matter,” while 48 percent said it’s “just politics.”The survey also found that half of independents disapprove of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, and 52 percent said it isn’t worth the time if the Senate ultimately fails to convict Trump.
This does not sound intense at all.
This from the Morning Consult/Politico poll:
Fifty-nine percent of voters who support impeachment said they believe the president committed an impeachable offense, a high since the survey began asking the question in May 2017. Thirty-seven percent of impeachment supporters, meanwhile, said they believe Trump should be removed from office.
Conversely, 41% of people who support impeachment DON’T believe Trump committed any offenses and 63% don’t want Trump removed from office.
This sounds like the see impeachment as a shot across the bow but really don’t want Trump convicted by the Senate
My assessment would be that the polling for impeachment has peaked. The more the nation hears about how Schiff (and I think a number of people within the IC) engineered this scandal the less they will like it. Unlike the situation during the Russia Hoax, most of the levers of power a firmly in Trump’s hands and that is going to have an impact going forward. If the Democrats do push ahead with impeachment, that is what the 2020 election will be fought on nationally and in House and Senate elections. If your highwater mark is around 45%, that isn’t a great strategy.
On the other hand, the Democrats can’t really afford to bail on impeachment. They need the motivated loonies to turn out and if they don’t impeach OrangeMan, many of those loonies are going to be torqued and stay home. Conservatives, you know how that works. Look what happens every time we primary some GOPe type and win…they stay home.
One thing we know for sure from the past three years is that you can never predict what President Trump will do. But I think the takeaways from this polling is clear. Absent some new and substantial scandal, the desire for impeachment has peaked and will begin to recede. And it is the Democrats who have to decide if impeachment works for them as a reelection platform in that tranche of red/purple districts that flipped in 2018…or if they even care.