A few caveats are in order, right out of the gate: First, as I've been saying, beware of confident predictions of how the Ukraine/impeachment story will pay out politically in the medium-to-long term. The dynamics are unpredictable, and both sides of the aisle are reportedly expressing doubts and concerns in private. Second, relatedly, it's very early in this process. This whole matter has been moving at warp speed, with new and significant developments still breaking. Putting too much stock in initial reaction is premature. This thing needs to breathe and marinate for a few weeks. The trajectory of public opinion will be far more significant in mid-October than it is right now. With those points in mind, very early indications suggest that the public is thus far relatively unmoved by the new controversy:
In the poll — conducted Friday through Sunday, as stories circled about Trump allegedly pressuring Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, one of the Democratic candidates hoping to oust him — 36 percent of respondents said they believe Congress should begin impeachment proceedings against Trump. Support for impeachment is down a tick from 37 percent last week...“Despite being a popular topic in the news, support for impeachment proceedings remains relatively unchanged in the past week,” said Tyler Sinclair, Morning Consult’s vice president. “This week, 36 percent of registered voters, including 33 percent of independents and 5 percent of Republicans, support impeachment. These numbers have remained steady over the summer, with little impact from the latest whistleblower complaint centered on Ukraine so far. About 66 percent of Democratic voters support opening an impeachment probe.
Democratic support will almost certainly increase following Pelosi's very public change of heart, but keep an eye on the independents moving forward. That's the most meaningful barometer. Morning Consult found just one-third of indies backing an impeachment process against the president over the weekend, when this story first took hold. On the other hand, much more information has become known over the last few days, so the weekend's data is largely obsolete. And YouGov finds that most Americans find what Trump did with the Ukranian president to be inappropriate. Stand by for new numbers over the coming week, but if this story doesn't significantly move the needle, Democrats can blame themselves for years of hyperbole and overreach. But here's what New York Times reporters have found in interviews with multiple swing voters this week:
For years, polling has shown that a majority of Americans opposed impeaching President Trump. In interviews with voters on Wednesday, there was no clear or surprising shift in sentiment on impeachment. https://t.co/mD9ksYwo79— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 26, 2019
Meanwhile, voters in key rust belt counties are begging Democrats to moderate their positions, or risk losing again in 2020. One wonders how impeachment factors in to this calculus:
None of the dozen or so union workers interviewed at a protest late last week had Twitter accounts. None had four-year college degrees. And few were committed to voting Democrat in 2020, although most were registered as such. Daniel Keener, a 72-year-old Democrat who retired after more than two decades at the nearby power plant, said his party has moved “way too far left.” “Every one of them wants to take my gun,” said Keener...Painfully aware of the defections that helped Trump win, union members and local party leaders are urging national party leaders and presidential candidates to moderate the bold policies that make up the backbone of Warren’s and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaigns.
Just 36% of independents trust the media vs. 69% of Democrats. That says something. https://t.co/W9RWLPsAAx #— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) September 26, 2019
UPDATE - Liberals are getting excited about this poll, but there's only one problem:
uh this is in response to a hypothetical question, based on facts not in evidence https://t.co/gPF4rLV6V4— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) September 26, 2019
UPDATE II - Some pro-impeachment inquiry movement is getting detected, with Democrats rallying around the party flag, and voters taking the allegations seriously:
Yep. Very predictable. If party leadership is divided on a major issue then that party’s voters often will be too. Once party leadership unites around a common position, as happened this week with impeachment, then support from its members follows. (See Zaller’s work on this.) https://t.co/0DNnXmBTWE— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) September 27, 2019