With Impeachment Inquiry in Full Swing, Public Opinion Remains Split

With Impeachment Inquiry in Full Swing, Public Opinion Remains Split , House Democrats insist they are leading an impeachment inquiry into , President Donald Trump for one simple reason:  His actions have left them no other choice . The president and his Republican allies argue that the inquiry is just an attempt to tear him down ,

 “An illegitimate sham partisan process,” as the White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, put it Wednesday. But with the first round of public hearings wrapped up and another scheduled for Wednesday, which message is sticking across the country?

Even more than with most issues, opinions on impeachment divide along partisan lines. While public opinion has fluctuated some since House leaders announced the impeachment inquiry two months ago,  overwhelming majorities of Democratic and Republican voters continue to line up behind their respective parties.

As a result, support for or opposition to impeachment rarely climbs much higher than 50% in any poll. (The impeachment inquiry itself is slightly more popular: By a margin of 5 to 10 percentage points, Americans tend to tell pollsters that starting the inquiry was a good idea.)

But a crucial slice of the electorate remains undecided. Close to 1 in 5 respondents to a national Quinnipiac University poll this week said they could still change their minds on impeachment — a low but not inconsequential number.

And with the inquiry likely to stretch on for months, how it proceeds could affect voters’ preferences in the general election campaign. “It’s still very early in the process, and we don’t know how it’s going to play out,” said Simon Rosenberg, a Democratic consultant who runs the centrist New Democrat Network.

Americans have a slightly more negative view of the president and his defenders than of the Democrats pursuing impeachment — though neither gets a warm reception .

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