Oct 18, 2019

Democrats' internal impeachment polling memo

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Capitol Hill with Rep. Adam Schiff. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

While national support for an impeachment inquiry is growing, it's not a clear winner for Democrats in the most competitive House districts just yet.

  • That's according to an internal impeachment polling memo, obtained by Axios, that was sent to House Democrats Thursday night.

Why it matters: Their vulnerable members this cycle are the ones who helped the party win the House in 2018 because they were in districts that flipped from Republican or that Trump won in 2016. They're not in the clear yet, as an impeachment inquiry is only "slightly favorable 49-48," per Democrats' memo.

Two impeachment polls — a national survey and a battleground survey — were conducted by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's pollsters.

  • Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) sent the memo to the caucus, which included specific messaging guidance:
"When discussing Trump’s actions, keep the language simple, direct and values-based. ... Emphasize the core value that no one is above the law. ... The whistleblower did the right thing by coming forward ... Demonstrate your constant focus on the biggest issues facing families in the country, specifically health care and wages."

Democrats' national impeachment polling found "voters back a Democrat who supports an impeachment investigation over a Republican who opposes an impeachment investigation by 11 points."

Don't forget: Part of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's pre-impeachment calculus was thinking about how to protect her most vulnerable members in their re-election efforts.

  • Now that they're moving toward impeachment — which has the potential to make this a very divisive election — Bustos pushed Democrats to take a more careful approach forward: "It reaffirms the strong position Democrats hold on this issue, due to the focus and restraint with which our Caucus has approached this pressing and serious matter," she emailed her colleagues summarizing her takeaway from the poll.

Go deeper: Read the memo here.

Go deeper

Top House Democrat: "Political considerations" won't guide Trump impeachment

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

In an interview with Mike Allen for "Axios on HBO," Democratic Caucus Chair Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) said no House Democrats have told him that they will make impeachment decisions "based on political considerations."

The big picture: President Trump and his allies have argued that impeachment is a political ploy by Democrats to win back the office in 2020. Democrats have pushed back, arguing the impeachment inquiry against the president is a matter of accountability.

Go deeperArrowNov 3, 2019

What to expect from impeachment

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Starting today, Democrats will do everything they can to put the most damaging testimony against President Trump in front of the public — while Republicans try to put as much distance as possible between Trump and the efforts to pressure Ukraine.

Why it matters: The American public, which has largely been left out of the impeachment process so far, will get a front row seat to the fourth attempt in U.S. history to remove a president from office.

Go deeperArrowNov 13, 2019

Read Devin Nunes' opening statement in the impeachment hearing

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

House Intelligence ranking member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) attacked Democrats for their "carefully orchestrated smear campaign" against President Trump in his opening statement at the first public impeachment hearing on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Nunes' comments reflect one of the strategies Republicans have settled on to defend the president: attack the impeachment inquiry as partisan and unfair and an extension of the Russia investigation that Democrats have been carrying on since 2016.

Go deeperArrowNov 13, 2019