Polling Shows if Dems Impeach Trump, They Could Face Massive Election Day Backlash
Well, it finally happened: Nancy Pelosi has embraced the possibility of impeachment.
In a media conference on Tuesday, the House speaker said that she was “announcing the House of Representatives is moving forward with an official impeachment inquiry and directing our six committees to proceed with their investigation under that umbrella of impeachment inquiry” in response to the Ukraine whistleblower complaint, adding that “no one is above the law.”
“Getting back to our founders, in the darkest days of the American Revolution, Thomas Paine wrote, ‘The times have found us,'” she said in one of the more florid moments of her speech.
“The times found them to fight and establish our democracy. The times have found us today. Not to place ourselves in the same greatness as our founders but in protecting and defending our Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. In the words of Ben Franklin, ‘to keep our republic.'”
Or to keep the president from governing and/or winning re-election, whatever works.
On the former count, she just may succeed; if the inquiry turns into an impeachment, those things tend to suck the air out of the room. Just ask Bill Clinton.
In terms of electoral success, however, that seems a bit less certain.
It’s worth noting that we don’t know what will come of the Ukraine whistleblower complaint. However, even after the events of the past week, a majority of Americans are still against impeaching the president.
The Quinnipiac University poll, released Wednesday, found that 37 percent of respondents said the president should be impeached and 57 percent were against it.
“In a clear partisan divide, 4% of Republicans and 73% of Democrats surveyed support impeachment. Those who responded against impeachment include 95% of Republicans surveyed and 21% of Democrats,” USA Today reported.
“The poll was conducted between Sept. 19 and 23, just as Trump was in the thick of a controversy after news of a whistleblower complaint from within the intelligence community surfaced about a phone call with Ukraine’s president asking for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, a 2020 candidate.”
That’s not even the part that should give Democrats pause, though. Instead, they ought to look at the fact that these are virtually the same numbers as a Monmouth poll taken in August — a little less than a month before the Ukraine whistleblower report came to light.
In that poll, conducted between Aug. 16-20, 35 percent of respondents said they favored impeachment against 59 percent who were opposed to it.
Most recent Monmouth Univ. poll on impeachment –
Registered voters: 35/61
Age 18-34: 44/50
Age 35-54: 31/63
Over 55: 32/64
Swing counties: 32/60
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) September 24, 2019
One of the reasons that Pelosi had held back on impeachment, of course, was self-preservation: The reason that her party now controls the lower house is that moderate Democrats were able to flip GOP-held seats in suburban districts. Those are districts where voters might not be too jazzed about their representative signing on to an impeachment push that’s been championed by left-wing activists and “squad”-lite progressive lawmakers.
However, that calculus seems to be changing. At least one moderate Democrat who flipped a GOP-held seat — Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota — has gone over to the impeachment side, and The Week postulated there were “more expected to follow.”
MN-3 Dem Rep Phillips statement on Trump impeachment. pic.twitter.com/elDEr8218f
— Patrick Kessler (@PatKessler) September 23, 2019
While Phillips was the only Democrat who flipped a GOP-held seat specifically calling for impeachment, more have called for an investigation: “As of Tuesday morning, nearly half of the 44 vulnerable first-term representatives who flipped Republican districts in 2018 came out in support of an impeachment inquiry,” Vox reported.
If this calculus is based on keeping the House in 2020 — as well as winning another house on Pennsylvania Ave. — it’s a dangerously flawed one.
As the Ukraine whistleblower scandal goes, you’ve likely witnessed the most explosive part of it. If this is just a phone call, House Democrats can impeach all they want, it’s unlikely to convince enough people in the Senate that this was a violation of the law and worthy of removal from office.
We’ve seen the transcript. We now know that the whistleblower had “political bias” against the president and hadn’t even been a witness to the call.
These are early days, but if this sounds to you like a prima facie reason to oust Donald Trump, I’d wager you probably felt the same way at any other juncture during his presidency.
And that’s the other problem in the calculus: American voters are unconvinced, at least if the Quinnipiac poll is any indication. It doesn’t even matter if they like Donald Trump — the Monmouth poll found that 57 percent of respondents wanted a new president — they just didn’t want him tossed out by his collar at the behest of Congress. They don’t want impeachment.
Instead, the Democrats seem intent on becoming the party of impeachment — not at any cost, but seemingly on the belief that this time, they’ll really wound Trump. Good luck with that one.
Newt Gingrich may have had the best summation of the current impeachment fervor: “I think the momentum of radicalism on their side is so great, they won’t be able to help themselves,” the former House speaker told the Washington Examiner. “The Democrats have always had the votes if they wanted to do it, and it’s up [to] them.”
Convincing the Democrat caucus is a different thing than convincing American voters, though. It didn’t work with Russia, and — at least judging by the first poll that’s been taken on the matter — it’s not going to work with Ukraine, either.
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