According to this article by David Ignatius, last week’s “testimony was damaging to the president.” The next sentence from Ignatius’ article says it all:

But the Wisconsin survey showed modest but nonetheless perceptible shifts in the direction favoring Trump, on the question of whether he should be impeached and also in head-to-head matchups against leading Democratic presidential candidates. What makes the Wisconsin poll important is that it is a snapshot of a state that, more than any other in the country, could decide the 2020 election.

The obvious question is simple. If the testimony was damaging to President Trump, why is he in better shape today than he was before impeachment was initiated? It’s impossible, obviously, to hurt a candidate while he’s rising in the polling.

This is what inside-the-Beltway thinking looks like. David Ignatius is a smart guy. Still, he’s trapped thinking like others trapped inside the Beltway.

The Marquette poll found 40 percent of registered voters favoring impeachment of Trump and his removal from office, compared with 44 percent in October. At the same time, 53 percent oppose impeachment and removal, compared with 51 percent the previous month. Statistically these are tiny-to-insignificant shifts, but the direction of the changes on this and other questions are consistent.

This isn’t insignificant when put into perspective. The net negative on impeachment is what’s required. In October, impeach-and-remove was a net negative of -7. In November, impeach-and-remove was a net negative of -13. That’s heading in the right direction for the Trump campaign:

The results from Wisconsin also showed that, since the summer, the Democratic candidates have seen clear slippage in their support in hypothetical matchups with the president. Former vice president Joe Biden led the president by 51 percent to 42 percent in August. By October the margin was 50 percent to 44 percent. The latest poll flips the script. Trump now is ahead of Biden by 47 percent to 44 percent. The shift came primarily from movement among independents, either away from the former vice president to Trump or to a posture of saying they liked neither candidate.

If last week’s testimony was damaging to the president, shouldn’t that equate to bigger leads for Democrat presidential candidates? Isn’t this proof that the testimony wasn’t as damaging as the Beltway thinks it was? This is interesting:

Trump’s current approval rating in the state, according to the Marquette poll, is 47 percent, higher than his national number and about the same as it was in the poll in October. Republicans are more unified behind him today than they were when he first ran for president.

If Democrats can’t flip Wisconsin back to the blue column, there’s virtually no chance of them retaking the White House. Democrats would have to flip Michigan, Pennsylvania and another Trump state to win. Trump won with 306 electoral votes. Michigan and Pennsylvania equal 26 electoral votes. Wisconsin adds another 10 electoral votes. Even if Trump lost the so-called blue firewall, he’s still at 270, the winning number. The Democrat nominee would need to flip yet another red state while holding New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Minnesota and New Hampshire.

I can’t picture Democrats re-flipping the Blue Firewall while keeping the previous list of states. It’s possible. It just isn’t likely. When the votes are counted on Election Night, President Trump will still be President Trump.

2 Responses to “Did impeachment hurt Trump?”

  • eric z says:

    Many who are influenced by propaganda will adhere to the last thing they heard in the propaganda stream, which would be the Senate, if the House votes impeachment. All the pundits seem to assume the House will impeach, once Pelosi committed leadership to holding hearings. What if there is the set of hearings and then no hand-off to the Senate to be the last propagandizing force in this event? That would be interesting, but is it at all probable?

  • John Palmer says:

    Eric Z that’s wise counsel you have offered Pelosi but when emotions are what drive decisions wise counsel is often ignored. Pelosi should have followed her own counsel and not started down the impeachment path since she had no bipartisan support.

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