Forty percent of Americans agree that the impeachment process led by U.S. Representative Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is a “political lynching.” That’s exactly how pollsters worded the question in a shocking new USA Today/Suffolk University survey published Tuesday. Four in 10 Americans sampled in the poll agreed that President Trump’s controversial and incendiary term fit.
Further, 9 percent of Democrats agree “political lynching” accurately describes the process. A whopping 43 percent of independents agree as well. Among Republicans, 73 percent said the phrase accurately describes the process. Even 35 percent of Hispanics agreed with the use of the phrase.
When asked whether Americans wanted the House to vote to impeach the president, just 36 percent of all respondents said they did. Among Democrats, the support is very high at 70 percent. Only 8 percent of Republicans want the House to vote to impeach the president.
But the troubling number for the Democrat-controlled House is that only 22 percent of independents favor impeachment. Another 36 percent of independents said they would prefer the House to drop the issue.
If the House does vote to impeach the president, only 46 percent of Americans want the Senate to convict and remove Trump from office while 47 percent do not. Forty-seven percent of independents oppose removing Trump from office, compared to 43 percent who favor it.
In fact, 32 percent of independents think there was nothing wrong with the president’s Ukraine phone call (as do 59 percent of Republicans). Only 38 percent of all voters think the call constitutes an impeachable offense. Only 28 percent of independents think the president should be impeached for the phone call.
Just 37 percent of Americans surveyed think the House will actually pull the trigger to impeach the president. Among Democrats, that figure stands at 60 percent. Thirty percent of independents think the House will go through with actually impeaching the president.
Among Democrats polled, 31 percent think that if the House does impeach, the Senate will convict.
Keep in mind, these are the results after six weeks of a near monopoly of anti-Trump forces over the messaging. What happens when these hearings alternate between questions from Democrats and Republicans? The constant repetition of the Ukraine hyperbole has already desensitized the independents who have lived through three years of Trump bashing.
USA Today and Suffolk University polled 1,000 registered voters by phone from October 23 through October 26. The poll has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percent.
The Democrats need a miracle to get Americans to tune in and change their minds about the process. They’ve failed to convince a significant portion of their own base that this exercise is a worthwhile execution of the House’s duties under the Constitution. They hate Trump and they’re willing to go along with anything that hurts him. A significant portion of independents appear fed up with the endless Trump bashing and are perhaps poised to punish the Democrats next year at the polls. While polls are fickle things, the Democrats needed a quick public relations blitz to build momentum towards a process that could be speedy enough to create an electoral advantage in 2020. Instead, they appear bogged down in a grinding war of attrition in which time is not on their side.