As President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial drags on, Democrats hope — and seemingly expect — that the proceedings will cause the president’s popularity to plummet. However, if new polling numbers are correct, then the left’s ambitions in regard to Trump’s political fortunes are seriously misguided.
An AP-Norc poll published on Thursday found that 75% of respondents do not expect the Senate trial to alter their opinion on whether or not the president should be removed from office.
Conversely, only 7% of those surveyed said it was “very likely” that their outlook would change, while another 18% said it was “somewhat likely” that their position on the matter would shift over the course of the trial.
Opinions largely fixed
Former chairman of the House Oversight Committee and current Fox News contributor Trey Gowdy addressed those figures in a recent interview with The Story host Martha MacCallum.
Gowdy indicated that he did not find the poll results surprising, although he did expect the number of those with fixed opinions to be even higher.
“I’ve heard nothing [in the Senate phase] that Adam [Schiff] didn’t trot out in front of the House before the impeachment vote,” Gowdy said. “He couldn’t get a single Republican in the House to vote for impeachment. In fact, he lost Democrats. So unless you have new facts, I don’t think positions will change.”
Gowdy: Decide at the polls
For her part, MacCallum referenced a Pew poll showing that while 63% of respondents believe that Trump acted illegally with regard to Ukraine, only 51% want to see him removed from office. But Gowdy chalked the first of those two numbers up to misinformation.
“It tells me that they read the article about the GAO [Government Accountability Office] that the president ‘broke the law,'” Gowdy replied, referencing the independent watchdog agency’s report finding that the Trump administration’s temporary freeze on aid to Ukraine was in violation of the law.
“They’re assuming that there’s criminality, that it’s a criminal law, and they didn’t read the follow-up articles that said, ‘Oh, by the way, every president has run afoul of the GAO, including President Obama in implementing the law that was named after him,'” the former South Carolina congressman maintained.
He went on: “So when I hear that 51% of my fellow citizens want to remove him from office, what that tells me is they would acquit him too, because it has to be 67%. That’s what our framers decided, it has to be two thirds.”
Gowdy concluded by saying that Trump’s fate should be decided not by a partisan spectacle in the Senate, but at the ballot box this fall.
“If barely half of my fellow citizens want to remove me from office, then do the opposite of what Schiff argued today, wait until November. Don’t do it now,” Gowdy said. “If you can’t meet the threshold the founders set, then do it in November if that’s what my fellow citizens want to do.”