A new Gallup poll shows that, despite damaging testimony on the Ukrainian controversy, President Donald Trump’s popularity has not fallen and his support among Republicans remains extraordinarily high. The President has held steady at 43 percent popularity overall and an astronomical 90 percent among Republicans. In addition, a Marquette Poll in the critical state of Wisconsin shows support for impeachment falling, not rising among voters. Indeed, Trump is now beating potential Democratic rivals.
I have written that the effort to reframe the impeachment as a bribery case may reflect the failure of the abuse of power theory to generate much support. The needle is simply not moving. The danger is that the hearings are playing mainly to an audience that is already firm in their views and not penetrating with most voters. It is not that the hearing are playing to an empty house as much as the hearings are playing to an audience that only hears the lines that they came to hear.
This would be the narrowest impeachment in history. Many voters are likely skeptical about removing a president on a controversy over aid that was ultimately paid to Ukraine. More importantly, the Democrats are insisting on a vote by the end of December. That means this will be the thinnest evidentiary record in history. A successful impeachment requires a degree of maturation and saturation to allow the public opinion to move. That will not happen in the rush to a vote in the House on this very narrow ground for impeachment.