Morning Consult has an article today saying their polling shows impeachment is not making Trump any less popular. His approval rating has remained statistically unchanged in 37 states, including most battleground states in the presidential election. Right now, Trump is on par with past presidents who have been easily re-elected in terms of support. If previous experiences with polling matter, these polls are probably underestimating Trump’s popularity, if anything.
This is pretty much what any rational person would think would happen with such a partisan clown show. The notion, after 3 years of Democrats lighting their hair fire every hour of every day, even over jokes and satire, calling every stupid thing a “constitutional crisis,” that there is a single person in the country that is undecided in how they feel about Trump is hilarious. If anything, Democrats have ensured that Republican voters and conservative-leaning Independents will walk through fire to re-elect the man. Trump’s campaign manager, who uses electronic data to track who shows up at rallies, routinely brags about how many registered Democrats are showing up at Trump rallies. Given that you generally have to camp out to make it, they likely aren’t there to rubberneck.
I fear for the mental health of Democrats on most days, but I really fear for their mental health if they vote to impeach Trump, he’s acquitted in the Senate because duh, and then he gets re-elected.
What I find incredible, however, is how little interest there is in the impeachment hearings overall. I mean, I guess I shouldn’t, because they are boring as hell even to policy wonks. Here’s 8 hours of Democrats passionately shouting the word bribery – because they finally settled on that after quid-pro-quo and blackmail – and trying to explain mechanically how you can “bribe” someone with something they were going to get already. (Now every politician who has slow-walked a line-item appropriation in a budget for whatever reason is committing an impeachable offense. Yay! We are so smart! We can law!) They’ve lived in their social media echo chamber for so long that they think if they say it a million times you will think they are onto something and not epic fucking lunatics who have been such pathetic losers for so long that it’s already election season again.
As it turns out, most Americans have something better to do with their day. And the bar for what counts as “better” is really, really low.
The chart below shows Google interest in “Disney” (red line) and “impeachment” (blue line). This captures anyone who went looking for news or commentary on impeachment proceedings, the impeachment schedule, impeachment testimony, and so on, over the past 12 months. Watergate this is not. In fact, interest of people of all persuasions has fallen off a cliff as the process has carried on. And Nancy Pelosi thinks they are going to milk impeachment into next year. (They’ve already been at this for over 100 days.) You go girl! Keep it coming! This is so much smarter than ratifying a trade deal with Mexico and China. You are going to sweep the Heartland like a wildfire!
In fact, it’s not hard to find anything that shows higher interest than impeachment. More people searched for Peloton this week than impeachment. More people searched for Tesla truck during Schiff’s hearings. Folks just don’t care. They’d rather watch “sexist” advertisements for an overpriced stationary bike or Elon Musk destroy his own product for giggles. Even worse for Democrats, engagement on social media for the entire 2020 field of candidates is low. Much like impeachment, people don’t care about them either.
So apparently there are many people on the left who are simultaneously (1) not interested in the details of impeachment, but (2) will tell a pollster that they absolutely want Trump removed from office during an election year. I think it says a lot about their understanding of civics and anti-democratic sentiment / goodwill toward the country in general. They genuinely do think “I want someone removed from office because he gives me bad feelings and I don’t like him” is a good operating principle for the government. These are not people who are going to persuade their friends to vote in another direction or win any converts going door-to-door for a campaign. (In fact, they’ve probably been unfriended a lot, or in the South, had their hearts blessed behind their backs.) But Pelosi depends on getting these exact same people to rock the vote.