Anyone who watched the Robert Mueller debacle on Wednesday has already concluded that it was a total waste of time for Democrats — at best. A new poll out from ABC News/Ipsos confirms that the special counsel’s much-hyped appearances before Congress did nothing to move the needle on impeachment, as House Democrats hoped. Nearly half said it made no difference at all, and the rest were evenly split between making them more likely to support impeachment (27%) and less likely to do so (26%).
So Democrats picked up a whole one percent for impeachment from that exercise. Oddly, you have to see ABC’s embedded graphic to get that specific top-line report. They seem a lot more interested in the demos, although that makes it look even worse:
Following more than six hours of questioning of former special counsel Robert Mueller before two different congressional committees, Democrats and Republicans remain largely splintered on impeaching President Donald Trump, even as nearly half of Americans show little movement on their support or opposition to the move, according to a new ABC News/Ipsos poll. …
Among those who read, saw or heard about Mueller’s testimony, 47% said it made no difference in their views about impeaching the president. The public hearings had opposing impacts based on partisanship: among Democrats, 48% said they are more likely to support the process of impeachment that could ultimately lead to Trump’s removal from office, 8% said they are less likely to support impeachment and 44% said they feel the same as they did prior to Mueller’s testimony.
Whereas for Republicans, only 3% said they were more likely to support impeachment, 42% said they were less likely, and 54% were unchanged. Independents were split, with 26% saying they are more likely to support impeachment and 29% saying less likely. 45% of Independents said they feel the same as they did prior to Mueller’s testimony.
Just to make clear, the only gains Democrats made on impeachment were with other Democrats. They lost some ground with independents and — if one buys that there was any significant impeachment impulse among GOP voters — lost a lot more across the aisle. One might suspect that there were a lot more Democrats than Republicans in the sample based on the topline numbers, but speculating is all that anyone can do with this, since ABC/Ipsos has not seen fit to release the full data and methodology of the survey.
Nevertheless, the results speak for themselves. Democrats wanted to generate a groundswell of outrage that would provide a mandate for impeachment. Instead, they barely moved the needle at all. This time around, they can’t hide behind the rather patronizing claim that voters had to see Mueller testify to know what was in his report rather than download it and read it for themselves. Seventy-one percent of respondents in this survey followed Mueller’s testimony to some extent this past week.
Mueller-mas II: Non-Purview Boogaloo was a bust. Democrats either need to go back to the drawing board on impeachment, or maybe figure out that they’re the only ones pushing it and think about doing something else in this session of Congress.