Following the impeachment follies in the House these days is becoming complicated. The Democrats are getting ready to hold a vote, but not an actual impeachment vote. It’s more like a vote to determine if they should later vote about whether or not to vote on impeachment. If you’re starting to feel like you might want to take up day drinking, join the club.
But how is the country feeling about the situation? As usual, it depends on who you ask, who is asking the question and how the question is structured. Suffolk University and USA Today have run a rather comprehensive survey and found that the country is largely divided, as you might expect, but there doesn’t seem to be any sign of an overwhelming (or even majority) appetite for removing President Trump from office. (Washington Examiner, emphasis in original)
The Suffolk pollsters gave 1,000 registered voters an opportunity to choose among three options regarding impeachment. Which did respondents personally prefer?
A) The House of Representatives should vote to impeach President Trump.
B) The House should continue investigating Trump, but not vote to impeach him.
C) Congress should drop its investigations into President Trump and administration.
Thirty-six percent of those polled said the House should vote to impeach; 22 percent said the House should continue investigation but not impeach; and 37 percent said the House should drop its investigations. The last five percent did not have an answer or refused to give one.
The fact that barely a third of people clearly indicated a preference for an impeachment vote should cheer up the President a bit. But at the same time, if you add in another 22% who are willing to consider it and let the investigation play out, it brings us up to more than half. That tempers the good news a bit.
Digging into the cross tabs we find the breakdown being largely what you would expect. By party, 70% of Democrats favor an impeachment vote with only 8% of Republicans agreeing. The real surprise may be among independents. Only 22% favor having a vote, while 34% favored continuing the investigation and 36% want it dropped altogether.
The breakdown along racial lines is also largely predictable. 73% of black voters favor an impeachment vote while thirty percent of white voters feel the same. Of course, that’s close to the type of ratio you see in generic ballot registration for Democrats versus Republicans.
The plan among House Democrats seems to be to keep dragging this out in the news for as long as possible, keeping the word “impeachment” on everyone’s television screens for as long as they can. And, of course, CNN is following the marching orders they received from their boss and playing along. No matter what other news is breaking, you’ll probably see the word in their chyron at least 70% of the time on any given day.
Is it working? Looking at the results of this Suffolk poll and the President’s latest approval ratings, it really doesn’t seem to be changing much of anything. I think the battle lines were drawn long before this and they’re not moving in a noticeable fashion.