Support for Impeachment Jumps as Public Learns More About Trump's Abuse of Power
The Trump impeachment story is moving quickly and Americans are paying attention. A new Hill-HarrisX survey released Friday found support for impeachment has jumped 12 points compared to polling done three months ago. The poll was conducted on Thursday and Friday as House Democrats began a formal impeachment inquiry and the nation was learning of the whistle-blower's complaint against Trump’s "inappropriate" communications with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky. The survey found that 47% of respondents now favor impeachment compared to 35% after release of the Mueller report. 42% remained opposed, including the vast majority of Republicans.
However, there is reason to believe that even the President's Republican support may start to erode a bit as some conservatives grow tired of supporting Trump's lawlessness. Republican Rep. Mark Amodei and independent [lapsed Republican] Rep. Justin Amash, along with the Republican Governors of CT and MA now support an impeachment inquiry. And several prominent media personalities associated with conservative media outlets have signaled to Republicans that the Ukraine controversy is serious and poses a danger to the President.
Mediaite: "Fox News anchor Chris Wallace called out “astonishing” and “deeply misleading” spin from President Donald Trump’s defenders over the whistleblower complaint on his contacts with Ukraine."
And, in a piece for "Bloomberg" on Thursday, well known conservative columnist, Ramesh Ponnuru, ridiculed Trump supporters for repeating the administration's talking points regarding the Ukraine scandal.
Ponnuru, via Raw Story: "When it comes to the excuse that the president didn’t do anything wrong because he didn’t offer an explicit quid-pro-quo with Ukraine, Ponnuru writes that “it takes willful naiveté” to believe Trump’s decision to suspend aid to the country one week before his phone call had nothing to do with putting pressure on it to investigate Biden."
"Ponnuru is even more unsparing in his takedown of the idea that Trump was merely asking the Ukrainian government to root out corruption that just happened to involve a potential 2020 presidential rival."
“The president’s interest here was obviously personal,” he writes. “Otherwise there would have been no reason to involve Giuliani, a private lawyer, who had already said that he was ‘meddling in an investigation’ to help his client.”
Moreover, former Republican Senator Jeff Flake argues that Trump's support is superficial and that few of his former Senate colleagues actually support the President.
Fox News: "Appearing at the 2019 Texas Tribune Festival, Flake, a frequent critic of the president, offered his own reaction and predicted that close to three dozen Republican senators would back impeachment."
"I heard someone say if there were a private vote there would be 30 Republican votes. That's not true," Flake said during a Q&A. "There would be at least 35."
Publicly, however, most Republicans are still hesitant to criticize the President. So, for now, they are circling the wagons, crossing their fingers and hoping there isn't more evidence of wrong-doing. Their political agenda depends on it. But, because Trump's support is fairly shallow, a few more weeks like this past one will likely lead many more conservatives to abandon the President.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content