What went wrong? The House Democrats’ nationally televised impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump was supposed to be a non-stop thrill ride of plot twists, smoking guns, shocking revelations, and incriminating witnesses. By day four of the hyped up, wall to wall network news coverage, the already anemic viewership dropped by 2.4 million viewers. Even Democrats are starting to lose interest, as a new survey by TheHillnewspaper this week reveals.
Even worse for Democrats, instead of convincing skeptical voters of the righteousness of their crusade, the carefully choreographed Congressional spectacle has actually driven down support and inflamed opposition. And the main stream media is starting to panic.
Vanity Fair magazine worries, “It is hard to read this as anything but a warning: New polling suggests Democrats’ impeachment push could alienate key voters.” The slick celebrity glossy reports, “By massive margins, Independents say that the impeachment issue is ‘more important to politicians than it is to me’ (62% to 22%) and ‘more important to the media than it is to me.’ (61% to 23%).”
Polling from Emerson University delivers more dire news. After weeks of relentless Trump bashing, support for impeachment has flipped from 48% support and 44% opposition, to 45% opposition and 43% support. Worse, yet, Trump’s approval rating has actually bumped up five points.
Doug Schoen, a former pollster for President Bill Clinton (who suffered his own ignominious impeachment), observes, “impeachment is turning into a political loser for Democrats.”
This spring, before impeachment fever overtook the party, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned fellow Democrats that it had to be “compelling and overwhelmingly bipartisan.” So far, it is neither.