Listening to America ... Swing voters at a focus group in Youngstown, Ohio, had qualms about impeaching President Trump, from fears it will hurt the economy to frustrations with the focus of House Democrats, Alexi McCammond reports.
- Why it matters: If these sentiments last and play out on a larger scale across pivotal states, it spells trouble for Democrats unless they can reframe what they're trying to accomplish.
- Before getting serious about impeachment, House Democrats worried the timing was too close to the 2020 election and could backfire at the polls.
Distraction, unease, exhaustion: Those were the main takeaways from an Engagious/FPG focus group Axios attended last week.
- We heard from seven voters who flipped from Barack Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016, and four who switched from Mitt Romney to Hillary Clinton.
- The findings are a counterpoint to the latest national surveys — including a Fox News poll — that show more and more Americans, in some cases a majority, now favor impeaching and removing Trump.
- A focus group is not a statistically significant sample like a poll, but these responses show how some voters are thinking and talking about the 2020 election in crucial counties.
Nine of the 11 participants raised their hands to say impeachment is a distraction from the issues they care most about — like wages and unemployment, border security, bringing troops home, and health care costs and access.
- "They need to be concentrating on the country, not what he’s doing wrong," said Deborah G., a 56-year-old Clinton voter.
Between the lines: Anti-impeachment feelings doesn't necessarily translate to a vote for Trump. One former Trump voter said he'll vote for Andrew Yang.