KERNS: American Support For Impeachment Is Dropping — But Democrats Are Still Hoping
After Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s long-awaited report revealed no evidence of Russian collusion, Democrats scrambled to launch their next attack on President Trump: a series of new investigations.
When asked Monday at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll if he was concerned about the Democrats’ threat of impeachment Trump replied, “Not even a little bit.”
It appears that voters share the president’s view.
American voters are increasingly trending against impeachment, and surprisingly those numbers are being driven by Democratic and independent voters.
A recent CNN Poll showed that support for impeachment fell seven points between December and late March as Mueller was wrapping up his work. Democrats’ own voters largely contributed to the slide in overall figures, which fell from 43 percent to 36 percent.
In fact, 80 percent of voters identifying as Democrats supported impeachment last December but by mid-March that figured had fallen 12 points to a total of 68 percent of Democrats, according to the poll.
The biggest shift, however, came from independents.
According to another CNN Poll, taken in December, 48 percent supported impeachment last fall and 47 percent opposed it. By the end of 2018, those figures had flipped: only 36 percent favored impeachment and 55 percent opposed it.
Voters with college degrees also started fleeing the impeachment camp.
Fifty percent of college graduates favored impeachment last December, but only 35 percent did in March of this year. Perhaps educated voters saw for themselves that the Special Counsel’s investigation was amounting to nothing more than a witch hunt.
After Mueller concluded his work in late March and submitted his work to the attorney general, another tectonic shift occurred.
Independent voters began showing a “significantly less favorable opinion toward impeaching,” according to a Rasmussen Poll.
Before Mueller wrapped his report, independents had been leaning in favor of impeachment but after Mueller submitted his report, without even seeing the results they leaned significantly against impeachment.
The numbers shifted again once Attorney General Bill Barr issued his statement regarding the Mueller report, stating that the Special Counsel’s office had found no evidence of collusion.
Independent voters had previously supported impeachment around 46 percent, but after Barr’s summary of the Mueller report this figure flipped upside down on its head – with 48 percent of independents opposed to impeachment proceedings.
The movement among independent voters underscores just how important Barr’s rollout of the Mueller report really was. (One can imagine just how bumbled the rollout might have been if former Attorney General Jeff Sessions had been tasked with the duty.)
While no traditional polls have been released since last Thursday’s publication of the Mueller report, the numbers have likely worsened for Democrats. Based on the trajectory of public opinion thus far, it is unlikely that voters’ views will trend back in favor of impeachment – and no congressional hearings will likely change that.
The challenge now for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — the de facto leader of the Democratic Party — is to keep her members in line.
On a conference call Monday evening, Pelosi reportedly stood firm on continuing to investigate Trump for possible obstruction yet stopped short of calling for impeachment. A smart move for the shrewd speaker, but she has more threading of the needle ahead of her.
An online poll conducted by Business Insider in the first few hours after the release of the redacted Mueller report shows that Pelosi’s base — the base that votes in primary elections — wants the party to push ahead with impeachment proceedings. However, the idea does not bode well for the party among mainstream Democrats and independents, whom Democrats will need if they hope to beat Trump in 2020.
No matter how bad the public polling is against the Democratic impeachment plan, it won’t stop the party from their investigations that stand to smear the president in order to achieve their 2020 election goals.
While more investigations will undoubtedly drag America’s reputation through the mud, the 22-month Russian collusion witch hunt proved that there are no limits to the Democrats’ shame. In a town known for having politics as its blood sport, Democrats have proven themselves to be Olympic-qualifying.
Jen Kerns (@JenKernsUSA) served as spokeswoman for the California Republican Party; spokeswoman for California’s Proposition 8, which went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court; and as a Fox News writer for the 2016 U.S. presidential debates.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.