Dems concerned impeachment will make Trump 'appear like a victim,' says pollster

Pollster Emily Ekins said on Monday that Democrats are concerned that if they are too aggressive in impeaching President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says his advice to impeachment defense team is 'just be honest' Trump expands tariffs on steel and aluminum imports CNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group MORE ahead of the 2020 election, they run the risk of making him sympathetic. 

"I think a lot of these Democrats realize that if they go too far on the offensive, they're going to make Trump appear like a victim," Ekins, polling director at the Cato Institute, told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons on "What America's Thinking." 

"Going into 2020, that's actually not going to go well for the Democrats," she continued. "So I think some of them want to back off for this reason." 

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCNN's Axelrod says impeachment didn't come up until 80 minutes into focus group On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Social Security emerges as flash point in Biden-Sanders fight | Dems urge Supreme Court to save consumer agency | Trump to sign USMCA next week Veronica Escobar to give Spanish-language response to Trump State of the Union address MORE (D-N.Y.) made news last week when she told The Washington Post that impeaching Trump was "not worth it" for Democrats. 

"Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country,” she said. “And he’s just not worth it."

Multiple progressive lawmakers, including freshman Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezImpeachment throws curveball in Iowa to sidelined senators Sanders says it's 'disappointing' he's not on campaign trail in Iowa The Hill's Campaign Report: Ten days to Iowa MORE (D-N.Y.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibSanders wants one-on-one fight with Biden Democrats press Trump administration to stop DNA collection from detained migrants Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Donald Trump' if the US doesn't elect a progressive MORE (D-Mich.), have called for moving forward with impeaching Trump. 

Trump last year warned voters ahead of the 2018 midterms that Democrats would move to impeach him if they didn't elect more Republican representation in Congress. 

“We have to keep the House because if we listen to Maxine Waters, she’s going around saying ‘We will impeach him,’ ” Trump said at a Michigan rally last year, referring to the California Democrat.

— Julia Manchester