House Democrats needed a big showing from their public impeachment hearings to rally public opinion and build a consensus for Donald Trump’s removal. After the first few days of testimony under Adam Schiff’s direction, they find themselves losing ground instead. In the latest Politico-Morning Consult poll, opposition to impeachment and removal has hit a recent high, and independents are bailing out on the project:
The survey, which has tracked support and opposition for the inquiry each week, support for the investigation inched down 2 points — to 48 percent from 50 percent — while opposition to the inquiry ticked up 3 points — to 45 percent from 42 percent.
POLITICO and Morning Consult surveyed registered voters beginning after the second public hearing of the impeachment inquiry, and the poll results may indicate that support for the inquiry has reached its peak after steadily building over the past several months. The results were largely driven by independent voters, among whom support dropped by 7 points over the past week.
“Voter opposition to the impeachment inquiry is at its highest point since Morning Consult and POLITICO began tracking the issue,” said Tyler Sinclair, Morning Consult’s vice president. “A key driver for this shift appears to be independents. Today, 47 percent of independents oppose the impeachment inquiry, compared to 37 percent who said the same one week ago.”
This matches up with the latest iteration of FiveThirtyEight’s aggregate tracking on impeachment polls as well. After a peak on October 14th of 50.3/43.8 in favor of impeachment, it has now declined to 47.9/45.4 — tracking ever closer to a flat-out tie. The trend is going in the wrong direction at the very time that Schiff is finally laying out his public case for impeachment, which speaks volumes about the impact of his hearsay witnesses and lack of direct evidence for hysterical charges of “bribery” and extortion.