A growing number of Independent voters have soured on the Democrat-led effort to impeach President Donald Trump, according to new surveys, with many saying the process appears to motivated solely by political differences.
The latest polling after two weeks of impeachment hearings in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, along with claims of “bombshell” revelations, not only have failed to build support for impeachment but are having the opposite effect on Independents.
At the same time, the president’s approval ratings are either remaining stable or have increased in some polls.
On Tuesday, the Quinnipiac University Poll found that 45 percent favor impeaching him while 48 percent of those surveyed do not.
That’s a reversal from last month, when 48 percent favored and 46 percent opposed in the same survey.
In addition, Quinnipiac found that support for impeachment among Independents fell 4 points during the same time. Other surveys show larger drops in support for impeachment among those voters not aligned with either major political party.
“The televised impeachment hearings haven’t had much of an effect on the president’s approval rating, or how voters feel about impeachment. The numbers still don’t look good for Trump, but they definitely haven’t gotten worse,” said Tim Malloy, Quinnipac’s polling analyst.
On Tuesday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who has led the impeachment inquiry in the lower chamber thus far, said his office would be releasing a report on the findings shortly after the Thanksgiving holiday.
In a letter to his colleagues, Schiff (D-Calif.) laid out evidence he says his committee has collected through 17 closed-door depositions and five open hearings in Democrats’ investigation of Trump’s dealings in Ukraine.
Schiff says the evidence “conclusively shows” that Trump conditioned a White House meeting and U.S. military aid on “Ukraine announcing sham, politically-motivated investigations that would help President Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign.”
He added that the inquiry would soon move to the House Judiciary Committee, which will decide whether to return articles of impeachment.
Later Tuesday, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) announced that his committee would begin new impeachment proceedings next week.
“We will also discuss whether your alleged actions warrant the House’s exercising its authority to adopt article of impeachment,” Nadler wrote in a letter to President Trump.
“If you would like to participate in the hearing, please provide the Committee with notice as soon as possible. But no later than by 6:00 pm on December 1, 2019. By that time, I ask that you also indicate who will act as your counsel for these proceedings,” he continued.
“While we invite you to this hearing, we remind you that if you continue to refuse to make witnesses and documents available to the committee of jurisdiction…’the chair shall have the discretion to impose appropriate remedies,’” Nadler added.
Jim McLaughlin, a pollster with ties to the Trump campaign team, said he talked to some Republicans in Washington who voiced concerns over the president’s interactions with Ukraine. But those concerns have not spread outside the Beltway to voters who view it all as “political.”
“It’s like, ‘What are you doing? This isn’t an impeachable offense,’” he said. “This whole impeachment hearing, they look at this as political.”