Former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial began this week, with House impeachment managers and Trump’s defense team launching into their opening arguments.
However, if Democrats were hoping that the spectacle would lead to a boost of enthusiasm, some new polling numbers may leave them feeling disappointed.
Data from Rasmussen Reports suggests that voters aren’t terribly interested in the impeachment drama, with a minority of respondents saying that they plan to spend serious time watching the trial, the Washington Examiner reported.
The polling firm found that just “15 percent of voters say they’ll watch the entire Senate impeachment trial on TV, and 21 percent expect to watch most of it.”
Independents not in favor
The polling firm also found that “Thirty percent say they’ll watch some of Trump’s trial, but 32 percent won’t watch any of it.” It also noted that only 31% believe a conviction is likely.
What’s more, most voters don’t believe the impeachment trial will lead to greater unity. Fifty-seven percent said they felt the trial would “cause more division,” a figure that increased to 83% when the question was put to Republicans.
Nor is the move popular among independent voters, with Rasmussen tweeting, “Democrats Out of Step: Majority of unaffiliated (54%) & GOP (80%) voters say Trump should not be convicted & believe – unaffiliated (61%) & GOP (81%) – that an impeachment will only cause more division in the country.”
These findings contradict remarks made by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who argued that the impeachment trial is necessary for “healing.”
“Look, everyone wants to put this awful chapter in American history behind us, but sweeping it under the rug will not bring healing,” Schumer said during a January press conference, Fox News reported.
“The only way to bring healing is to actually have real accountability, which this trial affords. And so we will move forward with the trial,” he added.
However, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio disagreed, telling Fox News Sunday in January that he believes another impeachment trial “is going to be really bad for the country.”
“It’s going to … keep us from focusing on really important things, but it’s also just going to stir it up even more and make it even harder to get things done moving forward,” he said.