Why Does This Impeachment Not Feel Like a Defeat for Trump?

By Jim Geraghty

December 10, 2019 "Information Clearing House" -  On paper, the speaker of the House and chairmen of the relevant committees announcing they will impeach the president should feel like a historic moment and a rarely equaled disgrace for the presidency. This day should feel momentous, grim, and solemn. In this presidency, it feels like “Tuesday.”

On paper, the impeachment hearings did everything House Democrats wanted them to do. While some of the key testimony was second-hand, the witnesses painted an ugly picture of the administration and president, focused on farfetched tales of a lost server and obsessed with the Bidens and not seeming to give a fig about what the military aid meant to Ukraine. The major television networks covered the hearings live. The objections of House Republicans were largely ridiculed by the media. The GOP was unable to introduce witnesses to interrupt the Democrats’ narrative or divert attention to the Bidens or other topics.

And yet the polling is about where it was at the start of October. As of this writing, in the FiveThirtyEight aggregation, 47.1 percent support removing the president, and 44 percent don’t support removal. That’s not good for the White House, but that’s nowhere near where Democrats wanted it to be. There’s nothing resembling the bipartisan consensus that Democrats had previously called a prerequisite for moving forward with the removal of a president. In fact, impeachment could well be hurting Democrats’ chances in key swing states. A recent survey found removal is opposed by 50.8 percent of voters in Michigan, 52.2 percent of voters in Pennsylvania, and 57.9 percent of voters in Wisconsin. Whether or not you think the hearings were persuasive, the evidence suggests they didn’t persuade many people who didn’t already support impeachment.


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