Why State Voters Cooled on Impeachment
MU poll found small shifts add up and Trump might be helped by good economy.
On the same day Ambassador Gordon Sondland testified to the House Intelligence Committee about an explicit quid-pro-quo offer from the Trump administration to Ukraine, the new Marquette University Law School poll showed support for impeachment has declined among Wisconsinites.
Why is that?
“On the Republican side it’s not hard to understand,” says poll director Charles Franklin. “The rally-around-your-team effect is something we’ve seen so much in recent years. At least in the short term, I would have expected Republicans to rally around Trump.”
Franklin was more surprised by the drop-off in support for impeachment among Democrats.
“It’s not that Democrats turned away from impeachment,” he hastens to add. “It’s just that they became 3 or 4 points less enthusiastic.”
Dig a little deeper into the poll results, and you will see that Republican voters do seem to have become more pro-Trump. Among those who identify as Republicans, 4% support impeaching and removing the president now, versus 6% in October. Among those who lean Republican, the number is 7% today versus 9% in October.
Independents, meanwhile, are actually more likely to support impeaching and removing the president today (36%) than they were last month (33%).
Democratic voters, meanwhile, have lost a little steam on impeachment since the public hearings began. Last month, 88% of Democrats and 78% of those who lean Democratic wanted to impeach and remove Trump. Today, 73% of those who lean Democratic and 81% of Democrats support impeaching and removing the president from office.
Still, sentiment for impeachment among Democrats has remained high since the inquiry launched, Franklin points out.
Democratic voters in Wisconsin rallied around impeachment significantly between April and October, following the lead of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. ““When the leadership was saying, ‘No, no, no,’ support was tepid,” Franklin says (only 29% of respondents in the April Marquette poll thought there were sufficient grounds to hold impeachment hearings). “Then it went to the high 70s and 80s.”
Franklin also points out that the poll was conducted last Wednesday through Sunday. “Since we were out of the field on Sunday, this week’s testimony is not factored in,” he says.
“Give it time, and especially, watch to see if there’s a cumulative impact of the testimony,” he advises.
Both people’s sense of the facts, and their conclusions about what should happen, could shift.
“Over 50% believe the president asked for an investigation,” Franklin points out, “but only 41% think he delayed aid. Listening to today’s testimony, you can imagine that number could move.”
An important context for the poll numbers is that only 33% of Republicans and 39% of Democrats say they are following the impeachment proceedings “very closely.” A majority of those who are actually tuning in — 61% — say Trump asked for an investigation into the Bidens. Among people who admit they are not following the impeachment proceedings closely at all, only 34% say Trump asked for an investigation.
Not only are Wisconsinites a little less keen on impeaching the president than they were last time they were asked, they also are feeling more bullish on the economy — and on Trump.
Franklin attributes Trump’s stronger approval rating on the economy to the stock market highs last month. People are feeling more optimistic about the economy for the coming year as well. “Positive economic evaluations are helping Trump. That has nothing to do with impeachment,” Franklin says.
As for Trump’s overall approval, which the poll shows is up by 1% since last month, Franklin says it shows Wisconsin is still in play.
“Last time the Democrats were a little ahead, but within the margin of error. This time, Trump is a little ahead but within the margin of error. That’s pretty much the definition of a close election,” Franklin says. “We’re still a battleground state.”
Reprinted with permission of Wisconsin Examiner.
More about the Impeachment of President Trump
- Congresswoman Moore Supports Decision to Move Forward with Articles of Impeachment - U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore - Dec 5th, 2019
- Op Ed: Impeachment Depends on Facts - Bill Kaplan - Nov 26th, 2019
- State’s GOP Congressmen Skip Depositions - Robin Bravender - Nov 25th, 2019
- Why State Voters Cooled on Impeachment - Ruth Conniff - Nov 22nd, 2019
- Poll Shows Less Support For Impeachment - Miranda Suarez - Nov 21st, 2019
- Ron Johnson Attacks Vindman, Defends Trump - Ruth Conniff - Nov 20th, 2019
- Johnson Dodges Questions About Trump, Ukraine - Allison Stevens - Nov 7th, 2019
- Sen. Ron Johnson Continues Impeachment Bumbling - One Wisconsin Now - Nov 1st, 2019
- Sen. Johnson Says Trump Not Guilty - Corri Hess - Oct 31st, 2019
- Sensenbrenner Statement on Impeachment Resolution - U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner - Oct 31st, 2019
- Op Ed: Donald Trump’s Man in Ukraine - Mike Browne - Oct 29th, 2019
- Big Jump in State Support for Impeachment - Laurel White - Oct 24th, 2019
- Pocan Says Impeachment Vote Coming Soon - Laurel White - Oct 15th, 2019
- Wisconsin Politicians and Impeachment History - Robin Bravender - Oct 2nd, 2019