A new poll from Politico and Morning Consult shows that support for the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry is slowly ticking down as the televised House Intelligence Committee hearings wear on, and independents — a group of voters key to Democrats’ hope of retaking the White House in 2020 — are tuning out in double digits.
Politico reports that its own poll found support for the impeachment inquiry down two points from a previous poll, taken before Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) made the inquiry public. Opposition to the impeachment inquiry has ticked up four points since the same previous poll.
Independents — those voters who do not readily identify as either Republican or Democrats — seem to be the most volatile group.
“Voter opposition to the impeachment inquiry is at its highest point since Morning Consult and POLITICO began tracking the issue,” Morning Consult’s president said in a statement. “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.”
A plurality of voters still believe that President Donald Trump should be impeached, but around 46% of voters believe the Democrats aren’t handling the impeachment inquiry professionally.
That’s bad news for Democrats, who are crushing the remaining witness testimony before Congress goes on its annual Thanksgiving recess. On Tuesday, at least eight State Department officials will testify as to their role in uncovering an alleged “quid-pro-quo” agreement between President Trump and Ukrainian officials, a renewed commitment to providing foreign aid in return for an announcement by Ukrainian officials that they are investigating whether former Vice President Joe Biden used his office to clear the way for his son Hunter to escape an investigation by Ukrainian prosecutors.
But if the impeachment inquiry is starting to pose a political liability for Democrats, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) isn’t about to cut it short. In a memo to House Democrats, who were questioning whether the impeachment is costing the Democrats, in tight House and Senate races, voters; Pelosi called the suggestion that Democrats abandon their crusade “weak” and “dangerous.”
“The weak response to these hearings has been, ‘Let the election decide.’ That dangerous position only adds to the urgency of our action, because POTUS is jeopardizing the integrity of the 2020 elections,” Pelosi said.
Pelosi may be overstating her case, though. According to the letter, released late Monday, Pelosi claims that the President “has abused his power for his own personal, political benefit, at the expense of our national security interests,” and that she is presiding over an open-and-shut case.
“The aid was only released after the whistleblower exposed the truth of the President’s extortion and bribery, and the House launched a formal investigation,” she wrote, despite the fact that no evidence or testimony yet presented seems to back up that theory.
The Democrats have now taken to using the term “bribery” rather than “quid-pro-quo” out of concern that Americans weren’t fully comprehending what a quid-pro-quo relationship might look like. The House Democrats have also noted, to a D.C. Circuit Court, that they’re following up on the possibility that the President committed perjury in his statements to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, just in case the Ukraine theory doesn’t pan out.