Not even with Ukraine-Gate? According to a Morning Consult poll conducted for Politico, the events of the past week didn’t have any impact at all on Americans’ perception of impeachment. After support peaked a year ago in the low 40s for impeaching Donald Trump, it has steadily declined ever since — and hasn’t changed in any substantive way since mid-May:
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. Nearly half of respondents, 49 percent, said Congress should not begin impeachment proceedings, also down a point from last week.
Ukraine-Gate broke open late last week before polling began. What impact did it have? Not a whole lot, although it also hadn’t penetrated deeply into the psyche of the sample:
Fewer than 1 in 4, 23 percent, had heard “a lot” about the whistleblower complaint, while 31 percent had heard “some,” 23 percent hadn’t heard much and 23 percent had heard “nothing at all.”
The news gets worse in the demos. Democrats support proceeding on impeachment by a 66/17 margin; that’s not quite even the two-thirds required in the Senate for removal, assuming Democrats controlled all the seats. Republicans split 5/89 on the question, while independents have a plurality opposed at 33/45. Among the age demos, only 18-29 year olds support it (44/33); starting with 45-54 year olds, the top three age demos have majorities opposed to it. Both men (35/52) and women (37/47) oppose it.
Even more worrisome for Democrats is where impeachment is unpopular. A majority of suburban respondents say no (37/50), as do rural voters (27/59). Democrats are risking their new House majority in the suburban districts they took away from Trump last year to chase the impeachment dragon, and the support from urban areas on this project falls far short of any make-up margin at only 47/35. If Democrats hope to gain ground in the South (33/53) or Midwest (36/48), they may be torching those opportunities. Even in the Democrat-friendly Northeast, it’s an unpopular idea (37/48).
Granted, a smoking gun might change some minds on the question, but that’s what Democrats thought about the Mueller report. That ended up flopping, and not even a guest starring role for Robert Mueller in two House committee hearings in July moved the needle. The White House’s assertive moves to declassify the Zelenskiy transcript and potentially the whistleblower complaint will likely deaden any impact Ukraine-Gate will have on these numbers. House Democrats may be setting a trap not for Trump but for themselves.
Political analyst Charlie Cook warned them that the Zelensky transcript is not going to change things, either:
I don’t Tweet very much but reading transcript has moved me to comment. I was totally underwhelmed by the transcript. After the build-up, it was not much more inappropriate said than we hear from him in a typical week. This will not move malleable voters.
— Charlie Cook (@CharlieCookDC) September 25, 2019