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Inside the Beltway: Poll numbers: Zeal for impeachment wanes

March 22, 2019

The single word “impeachment” is a big talking point among Democratic strategists. Some analysts appear obsessed by the idea, musing over the prospect non-stop. Public interest in the impeachment of President Trump, however, is waning this according to a new poll from none other than CNN. The survey found, in fact, that almost 6-out-of-10 of the respondents 59 percent said they do not believe Mr. Trump should be “impeached and removed from office.” This finding is up by 9 percentage points since December when the network conducted a similar poll.

What about those who favor the impeachment? Three months ago, CNN found that 43 percent of Americans overall thought that was a good idea. That figure has dropped to 36 percent, and much of the decline has been among Democrats themselves.

“In December, 80 percent of self-identified Democrats said they were in favor of impeachment that now stands at 68 percent, a 12-point dip. Among independents and Republicans, support for impeachment has fallen 3 points over the same time,” writes Jennifer Agiesta, CNN’s polling director.

And the current numbers: 4 percent of Republicans favor impeachment, along with one-third of the independents.

RAGE ON, DEMOCRATS

New York Post columnist John Podhoretz points out that in recent days, high-profile Democrats have proposed increasing the size of the Supreme Court, lowering the federal voting age to 16 and abolishing the Electoral College.

“Welcome to the Democratic presidential campaign of 2020,” writes Mr. Podhoretz, who predicts that at least five minutes of every presidential debate will be taken up by such “fantasy.”

Why all the fuss, and why now?

“The most obvious answer is that Democrats want to change the rules because they think the rules aren’t working for them. They want the popular vote instead of the Electoral College because they’ve won the popular vote four times out of the past five elections. They want to pack the court because the court is going conservative. And they want the voting age lowered to 16 because they want to stuff the ballot box,” Mr. Podhoretz writes.

Whether Democratic proposals of radical restructuring of the political sphere resonates with voters, however, remains to be seen.

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MEANWHILE IN SOUTH CAROLINA

South Carolina residents remain among the “strongest supporters” of President Trump says a new latest Winthrop Poll, which found the president with a 42 percent approval rating overall, and 82 percent of Republicans. Only 16 percent give Congress a thumbs up.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, meanwhile, has the support of half of the Palmetto State residents overall, and three-fourths of Republicans.

“Graham’s approval has benefited from his defense of, and alignment with, President Trump. While Graham’s numbers used to lag those of other Republicans among GOP identifiers, since he has taken up the President’s banner on most every issue, his approval among Republicans in South Carolina has steadily risen,” notes Scott Huffmon, director of the Winthrop Poll.

Mr. Graham has a 25 percent job approval among Democrats.

The poll found that Sen. Tim Scott also garnered a 74 percent approval among Republicans, and a 55 percent approval rating among all respondents with support from 40 percent of Democrats.

“While still appealing to core Republicans, Senator Scott has pushed issues that even many Democrats appreciate,” Mr. Huffmon observes.

WHAT YOU ALREADY KNOW

MSNBC rules the airwaves when it comes to coverage of Robert Mueller’s special investigation of President Trump according to a new analysis examining two years worth of cable news coverage.

“MSNBC spent 3.38 percent of its airtime mentioning Mueller, compared with 2.47 percent of CNN’s and just 1.31 percent of Fox News’ airtime,” writes Kalev Leetaru, media fellow for RealClear Politics, who monitored the content of all that coverage from April 2017 through Sunday of this week.

“MSNBC spent almost as much airtime mentioning Mueller as the other two channels combined, showing how fixated the arm of NBC News has been on the investigation into alleged collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and the Russian government,” Mr. Leetaru said, adding that MSNBC “has been clearly fixated” on the Mueller investigation.

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POLL DU JOUR

87 percent of Americans say special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation should be made public: 80 percent of Republicans, 88 percent of independents and 95 percent of Democrats agree.

56 percent overall say that possible Russian interference in the 2016 election is serious and should be investigated; 14 percent of Republicans, 54 percent of independents and 92 percent of Democrats agree.

38 percent overall say the investigation is mainly an effort to discredit the Trump presidency; 80 percent of Republicans, 40 percent of independents and 7 percent of Democrats agree.

48 percent overall say it is not likely that the Mueller investigation will implicate President Trump personally; 83 percent of Republicans, 48 percent of independents and 22 percent of Democrats agree.

47 percent overall say it is likely that the Mueller investigation will implicate Mr. Trump; 13 percent of Republicans, 47 percent of independents and 76 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A CNN/SSRS poll of 1,003 U.S. adults conducted March 14-17.

Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com