Empower Wisconsin | Nov. 22, 2019
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Impeachment hearing fatigue appears to be setting in and that’s troubling news for Democrats who hope to take back battleground Wisconsin from embattled President Donald Trump.
A new Marquette Law School Poll released this week finds more than half of respondents — 53 percent — don’t believe Trump should be impeached and removed from office. Forty percent say he should, with 6 percent undecided.
That’s a slight uptick in Trump’s direction from Marquette’s October poll, when 51 percent of respondents said they were opposed to impeachment and removal, and 44 percent favored Trump’s ouster.
As the House impeachment hearings plod along with conflicting witnesses, Wisconsin Republicans — from conservative bastion Waukesha County to far left Dane County — say they are more convinced than ever that the impeachment investigation is nothing more than a political witch-hunt.
Scott Grabins, chairman of the Republican Party of Dane County, said Trump-supporting Republicans have been dealing with the effort to oust Trump since before the president’s first day in office — from the drive to turn electors to “Russian collusion” to the latest Democrat-led impeachment quest.
“It all ties into the fatigue. It’s never ending,” he said. “On the one side it’s very frustrating and maddening when we see this happening over and over again, the never-ending witch-hunt. But it’s hard to get angry at it because it’s all so ridiculous.”
Not surprisingly, 83 percent of Democrats polled favored impeachment and removal, with 73 percent who say they lean Democrat believing the same. A whopping 94 percent of Republicans and 92 percent or those who say they lean Republican are against forcing Trump out of office.
Impeachment support from Democrats dipped 5 percentage points in the latest poll from October, while opposition from Republicans and right-leaning respondents edged up.
Trump has turned the tables on Democrat presidential candidates. The poll found Trump had a 3 percentage point lead over former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders. He enjoyed a 5-percent edge over Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and an 8-point lead over Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Last month, Biden, Sanders, and Warren had small leads and Buttigieg trailed by 2 percentage points.
Trump enjoys robust support from Republicans or right-leaning voters, and the three top Democrats have significant support from Democrats and those who lean left. But there was some support erosion for Biden, Sanders and Warren between October and November.
And Independents have had a change of heart. Trump leads Biden, Sanders and Warren by 6, 7, and 9 percentage points respectively — a complete reversal from October.
“I think a lot of Independents are looking at this and really seeing how unfair this is to President Trump,” Grabins said. “We saw that with Gov. (Scott) Walker (in the 2012 recall election). The American concept is we want to see people treated fairly, and these impeachment hearings are really rubbing that group of Independents the wrong way.”