Not that Congress members are famous for listening to voters, but Speaker Pelosi may want to listen up. Democrats lost seats in the majority for letting their more radical left-wing members take the spotlight with policy preferences like defunding the police. This was openly discussed in a conference call after the election when Representative Abigail Spannberger expressed frustration with members for advancing such radical policies.
Now, the moderate district members from swing states will have another problem to contend with. Voters are not supportive of the move to impeach President Trump when he has only a week left in office. According to a memo from McLaughlin & Associates, in a poll of battleground state voters, 60% say it is a waste of time and money. Also, 74% see an effort to continue the process after Joe Biden is inaugurated as politically motivated. They see Democrats as concerned with preventing the president from running for office again, yanking his Secret Service detail, and preventing him from having a presidential library.
A few more findings should set off an alarm for members from the battlegrounds and perhaps caution them not to vote lockstep with Pelosi. According to the poll, 48% of voters are less likely to vote for someone who votes to impeach, and on the generic ballot for Congress, voters in these states favor Republicans over Democrats 49% to 42%. This should also rattle Republicans from these states who voted for impeachment.
Respondents also see this entire process as one that will keep the country divided. By continuing to attack the president, 65% feel that Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi are making it worse. It’s not a good look for the candidate who ran on unifying the country and plans to use the theme “America United” for his inauguration. A clear majority of voters, 77%, want Congress to move on and deal with coronavirus rather than impeaching the president.
Another caution to the Democrat leadership is President Trump’s approval rating. After the violence at the Capitol Building, it remains at 49%. By contrast, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have favorable ratings of 33% and 27%. Members of their caucus from purple districts should consider this when some of the more radical proposals come up for a vote. For example, 62% of voters favor an amendment to cap the Supreme Court at nine Justices. Voting for broadly unpopular legislation will surely become an election issue.
Above all, voters want President Trump to lead an orderly and peaceful transition. This is important to 89% of voters, with 70% saying it is very important. This seems to be proceeding as the president has committed to a smooth, orderly, and seamless transition of power. Congress’s job approval is a dismal 28%. Continuing with an unpopular impeachment, that a majority view as purely partisan, is not going to improve it.