Yesterday, we ran through a few polls showing support for impeachment waning. Today, a handful of polls show a slight uptick or a status quo scenario, roughly at or within the margin of error, with the Politico/Morning Consult numbers still showing more independents opposed to that outcome than favoring it. If the needle is moving in a pro-impeachment direction at all, it's barely budging. Then there's this data from HuffPo and YouGov:
Appropriate + inappropriate, but not impeachable: 42%— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) November 26, 2019
Unsure: 18% pic.twitter.com/v3Fr9VRvp1
First, note this: "In a new HuffPost/YouGov poll, 45% of Americans say President Trump should be impeached, and 42% that he should not be. Those numbers are identical to a survey conducted a week prior." Literally zero movement. Beyond that top-line finding, there are some positive and negative signs for President Trump. On the darker side of the ledger, a small plurality remains in favor of his impeachment and removal, including a slight plurality of independents (although nearly a quarter of this cohort responded with "unsure." On the brighter side, a majority -- 57 percent -- either say that Trump did not engage in a quid pro quo involving the withholding of military aid until the Ukrainians announced an investigation into the Bidens, or that they weren't sure if this happened. This is the most serious misconduct being alleged, and after weeks of public hearings, only 42 percent of voters say they're convinced that it occurred.
And perhaps most importantly, as we've seen in other surveys, alternative options offered by pollsters elicit responses that demonstrate less enthusiasm for impeachment than binary yes/no choices. In the data above, even if the worst quid pro quo were confirmed by evidence (I think it remains somewhat unproven, and at least partially rooted in supposition, yet still likely), just 40 percent of the public would deem it impeachable -- a lower percentage than those who say they favor impeachment in the same poll. Forty-two percent responded that it would not be impeachable (though more than half of this group said that conduct would be "inappropriate," including a plurality of Trump voters). The rest -- including nearly one-third of independents, third party supporters and non voters -- said they weren't sure. I'll add that very, very few people buy the whole "perfect call!" song and dance.
All in all, the numbers we're seeing in the wake of Adam Schiff's impeachment hearings indicate that not much has changed. And the thus-far-non-deteriorating previous status quo, while certainly not good for the president, is politically survivable, particularly in battleground states and districts. Some Democrats insist their impeachment momentum is stronger than ever:
Will House Democrats follow through with impeachment probe? "There's not a Democrat who watched the last two weeks and said, 'gosh, this is a weaker case than I thought it was,'" @jahimes says. WATCH: pic.twitter.com/I1WqfM8I2n— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) November 24, 2019
Apparently, he didn't have a word with this colleague:
If you asked me to predict which House Dem would be the first to back off impeachment, I wouldn’t have bet on a member of the progressive caucus from a D+30 district in Detroit https://t.co/dLWwSdsWDr— Allahpundit (@allahpundit) November 26, 2019
“To hear you say, and you are a Democrat, and you are a liberal minded person; I know you don’t like Trump For the betterment of all of us, in an election year, it’s unwise to tear him from the chair. Is that how you think?” “Yeah,” Lawrence responded. Lawrence predicted a partisan vote in the House on impeachment and no conviction in the Republican-controlled Senate.
That last sentence sounds like a pretty good prediction to me. Lawrence also brought up the possibility of...a censure. Imagine that. She's reversed herself again since giving the above interview (in which she said there would be value in laying down a marker via censure, but no value in removing Trump from office), illustrating the ferocity of the backlash from the Left. There must be dozens of House Democrats who agree with Lawrence's assessment about impeachment overreach, but who are also nervous about the base.