Republican voters increasingly back the Senate GOP on blocking witnesses

As in our previous survey, we found that a majority (59 percent) of Americans still support hearing new witnesses and testimony, while 37 percent want to keep the focus solely on the evidence introduced in the House hearings. But although the top line number hasn’t really shifted, Democrats and Republicans have become much more polarized over the past couple of weeks on this issue. In late December, 65 percent of Democrats and 48 percent of Republicans supported bringing in new witnesses. But now the share of Democrats who want new witnesses has risen to 74 percent, while the share of Republicans who say the same has fallen to 41 percent.

Republican voters’ swift change of heart on this issue could make it politically easier for Senate Republicans to vote against calling new witnesses, which remains one of the big open questions in the trial. Moderate senators like Maine’s Susan Collins may still feel pressure to support bringing in new witnesses, but increasingly, rank-and-file Republicans seem to be just fine with a rapid trial that includes no new evidence or testimony.