Democrats are devastated that the Republican messaging on impeachment is ‘winning the hearts and minds of rural voters.’
Impeachment has boosted President Donald Trump’s popularity and strength among these voters in critical swing states.
Buoyed by some early polls showing more than 50 percent of the country wanted the president impeached and removed from office over the Ukraine affair, Democrats and the media jumped at the opportunity to launch an impeachment inquiry.
They calculated that momentum would build as the public heard more details, but many Americans were underwhelmed by the evidence of crimes they presented. Instead many voters are melting down with rage over Democrats’ inaction on a wide range of important issues like the US-Mexico-Canada agreement and polling support is dropping.
The One Country Project (OCP), led by former Democratic Senators Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Donnelly of Indiana, released the fifth installment of its impeachment social media listening project on Tuesday.
It analyzes how rural Americans active on social media in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are discussing the impeachment inquiry.
“Republican-leaning social media users are hardening in their belief that the impeachment inquiry is an illegitimate political stunt,” said Heitkamp.
OCP observed social media traffic from November 12 to November 24, concluding that the discussion volume around impeachment continues to increase.
“Neutral discussion has been steady, but Trump defenders have been getting increasingly louder, and now constitute 36 percent of the discussion compared to just 19 percent for impeachment advocates,” according to the report.
It also noted that enthusiasm on each side of the debate is moving in different directions, with proponents of impeachment becoming less energized.
“Meanwhile, impeachment opponents are inflamed by every turn of the process in Washington. Since the last OCP tracker, pro-impeachment has declined by 3 percent while anti-impeachment sentiment has risen by 5 percent in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin,” OCP observed.
According to their analysis despite “the wall-to-wall media coverage, including hours of testimony from a dozen witnesses, discussion by rural Americans remains focused on the legitimacy of the inquiry, not the substance of the testimony. Republican-leaning conversation is dominated by comments attacking the inquiry as corrupt and portraying House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) as a villain.”
Rural voters view the testimony of the Obama-appointed ambassadors before the House Intelligence Committee as partisan and hearsay. They believe Trump’s only mistake was not firing them all when he was elected. They contend that the president needs to appoint ambassadors that will support his policies and agenda.
Don’t expect voter sentiment to change anytime soon as most Americans will be busy shopping, buying gifts and celebrating the holidays while doom-and-gloom Democrats slog along with more pointless hearings.
Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Ban told CNBC Wednesday: “We can be thankful that the economy is still in a good place with economic growth a little better, a rebound in business durable equipment expenditures, and a sharp decline in joblessness which together tell the story that recession is nowhere to be seen and should not be on anyone’s radar in 2020.”