For the past few weeks, many among the Resistance have been asking why House Democrats “aren’t doing anything” about Donald Trump. Their frustration has been understandable. But anyone paying attention to what’s really been going on has seen that we’re now several weeks into the impeachment process; the Democrats just aren’t calling it “impeachment” yet. New evidence reveals that this strategy is working.
It’s fairly easy to understand why House Democrats are moving forward with impeachment while not yet fully calling it what it is. The minute they call it impeachment, Trump will begin making the argument that it’s being done for mere partisan reasons. But if the Democrats keep their distance from that word until their best witnesses testify in public, it’ll make Trump’s crimes clear as day to the American public, and it’ll result in more widespread demand for impeachment. Then the Democrats can (correctly) say that they’re only impeaching him because the evidence has taken them there.
Earlier this week we saw the first concrete evidence that the House Democrats’ strategy is working. Just before William Barr gave his embarrassing Senate testimony and refused to show up for his House testimony, a CNN poll showed that 37% of Americans favored impeachment. After the Barr hearings painted Donald Trump as being guilty, an NBC News poll showed that 49% of Americans favored impeachment. As Palmer Report explained at the time, it’s always a bit tricky to try to measure movement by comparing two different polling outlets, because the two polls can be worded differently or have different methodologies. But now we’ve got more surefire numbers.
Yesterday Reuters released a poll which showed that 45% of Americans now favor impeachment, up from 40% before William Barr’s meltdown. This means the House Democrats managed to convince an additional five percent of Americans that Donald Trump needs to be impeached, just by going after Barr in front of the television cameras. And this was with Barr trying to help Trump the whole time. When people like Robert Mueller and Don McGahn publicly testify soon, that number should go significantly higher.
House Democrats are likely no more than two weeks away from having a solid majority of Americans calling for Donald Trump’s impeachment. There’s a prevailing narrative that impeachment would help Trump’s 2020 reelection chances, though no one can explain why this would be the case. But once a majority of Americans want Trump impeached, it’ll be hard for anyone to make the argument that impeachment would somehow make Trump more popular. The march to impeachment is working – it’s not just being called “impeachment” quite yet.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report