When something like the impeachment of a sitting president happens for only the third time in a nation’s nearly 250 year history you can bet that the event will draw people’s rapt attention. And that was sort of true on the first day of the Senate trial last week. But since then? Not so much. The Associated Press summons up some data, along with anecdotal reports, showing that viewers have largely been tuning out the trial far more so than being fixated by it.
For all the gravity of a presidential impeachment trial, Americans don’t seem to be giving it much weight.
As House impeachment managers make their case to remove President Donald Trump from office, voters in several states said in interviews with The Associated Press that they’re only casually following the Senate trial, or avoiding it altogether — too busy to pay close attention, bored of the legal arguments, convinced the outcome is preordained or just plain tired of the whole partisan saga.
Web traffic and TV ratings tell a similar story, with public interest seeming to flag after the House voted last month to impeach a president for only the third time in U.S. history.
Some of the citizens they interviewed for this report tell similar stories. One person said, “I want to watch something that takes me someplace happy.” Another claimed that she had been watching “some really odd stuff” just to avoid it. (I can relate, lady. We watched a marathon of Expedition Bigfoot recently.)