President Donald Trump’s campaign has embraced as a major asset to his 2020 re-election campaign, Democratic-led efforts to impeach him. Trump is bettering that his supporters and disaffected political independents will be motivated to vote for him next November.
However, Reuters/Ipsos polling data over the past few months shows that if the Republican president is hoping for a public backlash like the one against the 1998 impeachment of Democratic President Bill Clinton, it has so far not worked out that way.
In fact, according to a review of polls conducted every week since Sept. 24 when the Ukraine scandal broke, the House of Representatives’ impeachment investigation has fueled an equally fervent demand among Democrats to hold the Republican president accountable for his efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Democratic political rival Joe Biden.
Trump is expected later this week to become the third U.S. president to be impeached when the full Democratic-led House votes on articles of impeachment charging him with abusing the power of his office and obstructing Congress’ investigation of the matter.
That would set up a trial in the Republican-controlled Senate, which is unlikely to vote to remove him from office. Trump has denied any wrongdoing and has called the impeachment inquiry a hoax.
According to aides and an internal campaign document seen by Reuters, since House Democrats launched the impeachment inquiry, the Trump campaign has tried to turn the crisis into a political advantage, by sending talking points to Republican Party officials across the United States,
Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale told reporters on Thursday, “Any time people try to lessen this legitimate president, in any way, his voters fight back”. The Republicans’ model looking forward could be the 1998 Clinton impeachment.
Gallup polling at the time showed that Clinton’s popularity grew in a bipartisan fashion during the House proceedings, peaking at 73% at the time of the impeachment vote.
Terry Dittrich, chairman of the Waukesha County Republican Party in Wisconsin said, “Our constituents, here in Wisconsin, they just want this to be over”. Trump’s narrow victory in the state in 2016 helped propel him to the presidency.
“We want to close this up, we want to move on, so we can remind Wisconsinites of all the accomplishments of President Trump, the roaring economy, low-interest rates, and the lowest unemployment numbers for African-Americans.”