As public opinion is souring on House Democrats' impeachment efforts, Washington Post reporter Rachel Bade told CNN on Sunday morning that she and her colleagues are hearing "behind the scenes" that a growing number of House Democrats are "getting cold feet" on moving forward with impeaching President Donald Trump.
Not surprising given the data
As TheBlaze has reported, voters — especially those in 2020 battleground states — are increasingly skeptical of House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.
- After the first week of public impeachment hearings, support for impeaching Trump was down 4 points, according to YouGov. This is compared to a mid-October poll that showed a 9-point (47 to 38 percent) preference for impeachment.
- Another YouGov survey found an 8-point improvement for Trump compared to its mid-October study that showed an 11-point support for the Senate removing Trump from office if he were to be impeached by the House.
- Nearly half of independents who watched or heard about the Democrats' hearings told researchers that House Democrats were "playing politics," while 36 percent said Democrats questioned witnesses in good faith.
- Meanwhile, an Emerson poll showed a net 24-point swing among Independents against impeaching Trump since its mid-October study.
- As Jake Tapper pointed out to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on CNN this morning, swing state voters are even more skeptical of impeachment. In Wisconsin, 53 percent of voters are opposed to impeaching the president, while 40 percent support it.
'A mistake for Democrats'
The question remains whether Democratic leaders will continue pursuing impeachment, even if public opinion is cutting against them.
Schiff, the House Intelligence Committee chairman, showed no sign of hesitation this morning. The congressman even told CNN's Jake Tapper that public support for impeachment has "grown dramatically," despite polling evidence to the contrary.
Meanwhile, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), of House Judiciary Committee which will handle the impeachment inquiry following public testimonies, told Fox News' Chris Wallace that he is largely indifferent to public sentiment. "I'm not focused on the polls," the congressman said.
Some political commentators say that even if impeachment appears unpopular with voters, House Democrats have no choice but to move forward.
"I'd bet my life savings plus several internal organs that [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi will have 218 to impeach. That's based on the simple reality that failing to do so at this point would cost Democrats more politically than proceeding with impeachment would," said a writer at HotAir.
Meanwhile, Ben Domenech of The Federalist noted on Twitter that Pelosi made a strategic blunder in allowing Schiff to lead the investigation.
"To reiterate: it was a mistake for Democrats to give this to Schiff instead of [Jerry] Nadler, who likely would have just pushed ahead with a more rapid vote, preventing this from becoming a process story that drifts into the election year."