Liz Peek: Sorry, Democrats, impeachment doesn't mean you'll carry the White House in 2020

The New York Times reported recently that Democrats have “resigned themselves to the likelihood that the impeachment proceedings against President Trump will extend into the Christmas season…”

The reason for the extended timetable, we read, is that Democrats want to make the “simplest and most devastating case” possible against the president.

What rot. Despite the numerous witnesses that have been questioned, the numerous closed-door interviews and purposeful leaks, it is quite clear that Democrats have discovered little beyond the original phone call between President Trump and President Zelensky of Ukraine with which to make their case.


Even the recent testimony by William Taylor, described as a “top diplomat”, whose testimony CNN described as the “smoking gun” investigators have been seeking, has been tainted by reports that in August Taylor met with an aide to Representative Adam Schiff, who is orchestrating the impeachment hearings in the House. The meeting was apparently arranged by the Atlantic Council, which just coincidentally is in part reportedly funded by Burisma, the Ukrainian company that put Hunter Biden on its board and that lies at the center of this controversy. The plot thickens.

The only reason that the closed-door political assassination effort might go longer than expected is because Democrats think it is working for them. They see polls, like one just announced by CNN, that indicates more Americans wanting the president impeached and removed from office.

CNN’s poll,.impeachment.pdf  shows that 50 percent of respondents say that President Trump should be impeached and ousted – a record.

Democrats are giddy with the outcome, which would suggest that the Adam Schiff-led investigation is winning over the public. That would be disheartening for the president and for Republicans, who have been arguing that the clandestine House proceedings are politically motivated and illegitimate.


The good news for Trump supporters is that the poll does not suggest anything like a public lovefest with the impeachment inquiry.

Here’s what CNN did not tell you about their poll:

  1. A plurality, 49 percent of respondents, say they disapprove of how Democrats are handling the impeachment hearings, while only 43 percent approve. Perhaps more significant, a majority (51 percent) of self-identified Independents disapprove of the closed-door proceedings which have been blasted by GOP House members. Needless to say, Republicans are not pleased; a full 89 percent say they disapprove of the undertaking.
  2. Fewer than half (48 percent) the respondents think Democrats are pursuing impeachment “because they think Trump has committed an impeachable offense”; 42 percent think Dems are “out to get Trump at all costs.” The breakdown is interesting in that those over the age of 45 are evenly split on this question, while younger folks tend to think Democrats are pursuing impeachment for cause. That is a red flag for Democrats, in that older voters more reliably show up at the polls.  It is that group in particular the left needs to win over in 2020.
  3. The CNN poll says of the 50 percent of respondents who think Trump should be impeached and removed from office, 90% feel that way “strongly.” Curiously, in April 91 percent of those favoring impeachment felt “strongly” about it, even though the Mueller probe had not turned up grounds for turning the president out of office. Of those who believe Trump does not deserve impeachment, 86% held that view “strongly” in this survey. In April only 76 percent felt that way. Both sides are dug in, but one conclusion from the survey might be that the ongoing attacks on the president have in fact hardened support for him.
  4. The most recent poll indicates only 41 percent approving of Donald Trump’s performance, while 57 percent disapproves. No president wants his approval underwater, but it is worth noting that Trump’s approval has not taken an obvious hit from the impeachment hearings. His approval has frequently dipped under 40 percent in the past two years.
  5. Importantly, approval of the president’s handling of the economy remains high, at 52 percent, with only 43 percent disapproving. That’s one of the best readings of his presidency. If indeed, “it’s the economy, stupid,” this reading is critical to the president’s chances of reelection in 2020. That is why Democrats are dead-set on impeachment.

President Trump is not alone in having upside-down approval ratings. Democrats also have net negatives, according to the CNN poll, with 48 percent of all respondents having an unfavorable opinion of the party and only 45 percent having a positive one. That’s worse than at the end of last year, thanks to a five-point surge in negative readings.

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Could it be that when voters gave the House back to Nancy Pelosi’s team last year they expected to have more to show for it than endless behind-door interviews and mostly empty accusations against President Trump?


It may be, for instance, that voters consider passing the USMCA important to the nation’s wellbeing and want Speaker Pelosi to allow a vote on the floor. Democrats have expressed great concern about the pain inflicted on farmers by President Trump’s trade battle with China. The USMCA contains some real wins for American farmers. If they are sincerely concerned about the farm belt, why don’t they get moving on the NAFTA re-do?

We know the answer. The USMCA would especially benefit dairy farmers, like those in Wisconsin. Why would Democrats want to give Trump a win in that critical state? As with the impeachment process, it’s all about politics.