Early public sentiment on an issue is often shaped by the most compelling and easily understandable argument repeated early and often. On the newly launched impeachment investigation, so far, those who favor an investigation into the president’s alleged abuse of power are winning the argument. (It’s early and things could change quickly, however.)
Polls aren’t good for Trump
A CBS News survey taken Sept. 26-27 finds a majority of Americans support opening an impeachment investigation. This includes the vast majority of Democrats, both moderate and liberal; most Republicans, said the poll, oppose an investigation.
Another national poll by ABC News-Ipsos finds more than 60% of American adults say what Trump did on the phone call is a “serious problem.”
A Politico/Morning Consult poll has seen support for impeachment jump quickly by 13 points.
House Democratic leadership and the Texas congressional delegation have focused their message on Trump’s abuse of power, specifically asking a foreign leader, in this case the president of Ukraine, for a “favor:” to dig up dirt on political rival Joe Biden. They argue that Trump is using national security for personal political gain.
Trump’s media cavalry is arriving
In recent days, the pro-Trump media machine has been revving up to defend the president and slow the momentum for an impeachment inquiry.
On Sunday, Dallas-based mega-pastor Robert Jeffress said on Fox News that happens he has, over the last week, “literally spoken to thousands and thousands of evangelical Christians” (that’s a lot of people to talk to in one week) who are angry over the impeachment inquiry. He then made a prediction. “If the Democrats are successful in removing the president from office, I’m afraid it will cause a Civil War-like fracture in this nation from which this country will never heal,” he said.
Trump tweeted Jeffress’ “civil war” prediction late Sunday – and that fear-driven hyperbole is making the rounds on social media, being pushed by Lubbock’s conservative radio host Chad Hasty and Empower Texans’ Michael Quinn Sullivan.
As Texas Signal reported in August, the pro-Trump Sinclair Broadcasting Group owns a number of Texas TV news stations. On impeachment, the company is defending Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s President saying it was “appropriate,” per Media Matters, and was bad news for Joe Biden. (The Signal is monitoring Sinclair’s Texas stations for pro-Trump impeachment coverage.)
The defense of Trump is only going to get louder and more combative as impeachment inquiry moves forward. His 2020 campaign has begun a $10 million ad campaign, together with the Republican National Committee, to fight impeachment and attack Joe Biden.
“This ad buy is just the beginning of an all-out fight to defend our democracy and our President,” RNC Chairman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement.