Polls show support for impeachment weaker in key battleground states

New polls from several 2020 battlegrounds show more people oppose than support using impeachment to remove President Trump from office, a potential danger sign for Democrats.

Support for impeachment is under water in new surveys of Wisconsin and Florida, two key states in next year’s fight for the White House.

{mosads}Trump won both in 2016, turning Wisconsin red for the first time in decades and returning Florida to the GOP column after former President Obama carried it twice.

In New Hampshire and Arizona, two more swing states, most voters oppose impeachment. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton narrowly won the Granite State in 2016, and Democrats believe they have a chance to win Arizona after securing a Senate race last year.

A New York Times–Siena College battlegrounds poll released Wednesday found that majorities in Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona and Florida oppose removing the president from office through impeachment. Majorities or pluralities do support an investigation of Trump, however.

Trump’s reelection campaign is emboldened by the polling, which it believes shows that Democrats are running against public opinion in the states that matter the most.

“We’ve known for a long time that everybody in California and New York want Trump to be impeached, they’ve wanted that since the day he came into office,” said one Trump campaign official who is not authorized to speak on the record. “But in these states where the election is really going to be fought, we’re seeing that voters oppose impeachment, and there’s an intensity to that opposition.”

According to the FiveThirtyEight impeachment polls tracker, 51 percent of voters across the country support the House impeachment inquiry, against 42 percent who don’t support it. A plurality of voters, 47.6 percent, support impeaching and removing Trump, against 43.4 percent who oppose it.

Support on both fronts has increased dramatically in national polls in recent weeks, rising about 12 points among independents and 14 points among Democrats.

However, some Republicans believe those surveys are overly weighted by left-leaning independents in states that won’t matter in 2020.

Polling in swing states does give the two parties some mixed signals.

A Marquette University Law School survey of Wisconsin released last week found 46 percent supporting the impeachment inquiry, but 49 percent opposed. Just 44 percent say Trump should be impeached and removed from office, compared to 51 percent opposed.

And in Wisconsin, support for impeachment is far lower among independent voters. Just 35 percent of independents in Wisconsin say the impeachment hearings are warranted, and 33 percent say Trump should be impeached and removed from office.

{mossecondads}Trump won Wisconsin by about 23,000 votes in 2016, in part because late-breaking undecided voters went his way. He was the first GOP presidential candidate to win the state since 1984.

“On average, the national polls are showing slightly more support for the impeachment hearings and removal than Wisconsin is,” said Charles Franklin, the director of the Marquette University poll. “Independents are a little more reluctant to support impeachment at this point, although that could change as the evidence continues to roll out.”

The numbers coming out of New Hampshire similarly reflect less support for impeachment than there is nationally, with a CNN–University of New Hampshire survey finding that 42 percent support impeaching and removing Trump from office, compared to 51 percent opposed.

Clinton won New Hampshire in 2016 by fewer than 3,000 votes.

Trump won Arizona by a more comfortable 3.6 percentage points in 2016, but Democrats believe they have the potential to win its electoral votes.

A new Emerson College poll finds that 50 percent of respondents in Arizona oppose impeachment, against 44 percent who support it.

Some Republicans think the numbers are far too close for comfort, particularly on the question of whether Trump should be impeached and removed.

“It’s not a good thing that bare majorities oppose removing Trump from office in these key states,” said one GOP pollster who requested anonymity. “Removing the president from office should be a really big deal, almost unthinkable, and reserved for the biggest scandals or wrongdoing. So only eking out 51 percent or 52 percent opposition in these states isn’t good.”

“That said, these numbers definitely show that there’s lots of room for Democrats to handle this badly and hand Trump a second term,” the pollster continued.

“These data show that there’s still a lot of skepticism that Democrats have proven their case or are doing this for factual reasons rather than for purely partisan reasons. Right now, Trump’s numbers in these swing states aren’t good. He trails basically any Democrat. But Democrat over-reach on impeachment could give him a message to turn that around.”

Nowhere is that more apparent than in the New York Times–Siena College poll of six battleground states.

In Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona and Florida, more voters say they do not support impeaching and removing the president by between 6 and 11 points in each state. However, voters support the inquiry by between 4 and 13 points in each state.

“These six states … deserve the name battleground,” said Siena College polling director Don Levy. “Across the six states, 41 percent of all voters support both the inquiry, and impeaching and removing Trump from office, while 42 percent oppose both the House probe and impeaching and removing the President. The remaining 17 percent … may ultimately decide the next election.”

Tags Battleground states Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Impeachment polls

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