Democrats were on cloud nine when the closed-door impeachment inquiry began. Back then, Rep. Adam Schiff was lying to the American people about what the president said on his July 25 phone call to the president of Ukraine. House Democrats selectively called witnesses, selectively leaked testimony, and continued to fool independent voters into thinking the Democrats were actually hysterical for a good reason.
The Soviet show trial really wasn't a good look for the Democrats, so the House voted on a bill that gave the process the false appearance of fairness while keeping the Democrats in full control of the narrative and substance of the impeachment inquiry. Two Democrats joined every Republican in voting against the bill, but Speaker Pelosi managed to ram it through.
But what little sunlight the Democrats allowed into the process was enough to start turning the American people away. Despite calling their best witnesses forward – most of whom, like the whistleblower, didn't actually hear Trump's July 25 phone call – support for impeaching the president fell as soon as the public hearings began. A recent poll finds support for impeachment has fallen five percent since October, and Trump's approval rating has shot up five percent during the same period. It seems the more Americans learn about Trump's handling of foreign aid to Ukraine, the more Americans approve of the president's job performance and want Trump to remain in office.
Worse for Democrats, it's largely the highly-prized independent voters who are souring on impeachment. Vanity Fair's recent headline, "'It Is Hard To Read This As Anything But A Warning': New Polling Suggests Democrats' Impeachment Push Could Alienate Key Voters," encapsulates the predicament Democrats now find themselves.
(Via Vanity Fair)
"Alas, for the Democrats, the promising numbers of late October and early November rapidly dissipated, and polling numbers have reverted to a level more consistent with long-term opinions on President Trump. In the latest Politico/Morning Consult poll, released on November 19, Independents opposed impeachment and removal from office 46% to 39%, a number close to the rolling averages of the last few weeks. It is notable that the poll was fielded after the first public impeachment hearings. Even the compelling testimony of witnesses like Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, failed to move the needle on public opinion. That doesn’t mean further hearings won’t energize greater opposition to Trump, but it’s a little hard to imagine more effective testimony than that offered by Yovanovitch and some of her Foreign Service colleagues."
In Yanovitch's so-called "effective" testimony, the former Ukraine ambassador appears to have perjured herself and admits having no first-hand knowledge about Trump's phone call to Zelensky or any delay in foreign aid. If these are the star witnesses – of what exactly, I'm not sure – the Democrats have found to make their case, then it should come as no surprise that the Democrats' case has fallen flat in the court of public opinion. And just imagine if Republicans had been allowed to call witnesses of their own.
Vanity Fair determined three issues driving independents away from supporting the Democratic-led impeachment effort. First, many independents say the impeachment is a distraction from the issues they really care about. You're kidding? Secondly, independents view the impeachment as part of the political establishment and the media's agenda. Now, where would they get an idea like that? And finally, independents are now suffering from "scandal fatigue and overall confusion," just like everyone else.
It's hard to keep up with what exactly the Democrats and the media want everyone to be so hysterical about. One day it's Trump's July 25 phone call. Another day it's a different phone call that somebody managed to overhear at a restaurant, despite not having the call on speaker phone. One day it's the president's tweet.
So it's no surprise independents are now questioning the agenda of the impeachment inquiry, wondering what the hell it's all about, and wishing our national leaders would get on with something more important.
There's no positive spin on this for the Democrats, and they are beginning to realize it. On Sunday, Rep. Adam Schiff told CNN's Jake Tapper that he would now like the opportunity to discuss the idea of impeaching the president with his constituents and his colleagues. Also on CNN, Washington Post Congressional Reporter Rachael Bade had to admit that many Democrats are beginning to have cold feet about the impeachment.
And if the impeachment moves to the Senate, the president will be empowered by the Republican majority to make a much more robust defense against the Democrats' ever-changing accusations against him. Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham has already requested documents related to Hunter Biden and Burisma, and Sen. Rand Paul has stated that Hunter Biden and the alleged whistleblower should be compelled to testify.
So if the Democrats are worried about the polls now, just give it time.
The Impeachment Scam is driving Republican Poll Numbers UP, UP, UP! Thank you Shifty.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2019