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The Impeachment Slog

Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Adam Schiff, November 19, 2019 (Shawn Thew/Pool via Reuters)

Democrats had momentum early on, when support for impeachment took a notable jump up and when they got witnesses coming in to testify, despite the administration’s resistance. But the early polling returns show no breakthrough in public opinion from the two weeks of public hearings, although support for impeachment has ticked up ever so slightly in a couple of polls.

Representative Brenda Lawrence coming out for censure made it look like Democrats might already be shedding votes, but, not shockingly, she has walked back her remarks. With partisans on both sides firmly dug in, it’s hard to see how we are going to see big swings in opinion either way. But Democrats have to worry that they’ve thrown (presumably) their big punch and not fundamentally changed the dynamic, while the numbers on impeachment in swing districts must look much more dicey than the national polling.

At this rate, it will be a slog toward impeachment in the House, leading to a Senate acquittal, after which things will pick up where they left off before Ukraine without any major change in the electoral or political environment.


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