Despite U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff's best efforts, Democrats aren't convincing Americans of any impeachable offenses by President Trump.
Over a month ago, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tasked Schiff with selling impeachment. Before any of the hearings, she said "the president violated his oath of office to preserve the Constitution of the United States." Some assumed Pelosi wouldn't be foolish enough to take such a bold step without concrete evidence.
But it soon became apparent that Democrats couldn't back up their claims. There was no smoking gun. All they had was a fake scandal about a phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky based on secondhand accounts from a partisan "whistleblower." Democrats' initial gains are already gone, especially in swing states like Wisconsin.
Wisconsin voters are savvy. It's not our first time dealing with Democrats who want to change the result of an election. Long before impeachment, we had recall elections held to cancel our votes for Gov. Scott Walker. When Wisconsin voters saw it was nothing more than a sham to prevent Republicans from enacting our pro-jobs agenda, they supported us on Election Day.
So, after the first round of public hearings, support for impeachment dropped four points here, according to a Marquette University Law School poll conducted during and after the first televised impeachment hearings. Now only 40% of Wisconsinites think the Ukraine phone call warrants removing the president from office.
The same poll showed an even more troubling result for Democrats. Not only did the hearings fail to convince people of a constitutional crisis, but they boosted support for President Trump's re-election.
Shortly after the inquiry announcement, the three leading Democratic candidates — Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren — held small leads over President Trump in our "must-win" swing state. But after two days of hearings, the same poll showed President Trump beating Biden and Sanders by three points, and beating Warren by five points.
Wisconsin's poll isn't an outlier. It builds on a national trend.
A Gallup poll released the same day showed a five-point increase in the president's net approval rating. An Emerson poll conducted partially after Ambassador Gordon Sondland's testimony showed a more significant six-point drop in support for impeachment. Among independents, there has been a massive 24-point shift since the hearings started, with only 34% currently supporting impeachment.
These results are even worse for the Democrats than they appear. Less than one-third of Americans thought any evidence from the hearings would convince them to switch sides, according to NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist. But Americans are changing their minds about impeachment, and they are overwhelmingly supporting President Trump.
Is it any surprise why?
Democrats revealed nothing that would support their claim of a constitutional crisis. Instead, they expect ordinary Americans to be shocked that the president didn't follow the "interagency consensus" on Ukraine policy — swamp talk for bureaucratic business as usual.
Outside the D.C. bubble, Americans expected President Trump to set his own foreign policy, regardless of what deep-state bureaucrats might say. Claims that Americans can't know the identity of the CIA analyst who worked with Democrats to start this fiasco aren't convincing, either.
If Schiff, Pelosi and others hope impeachment gives Democrats a boost here in Wisconsin next year, they're mistaken. House Democrats are playing politics less than a year before Election Day when they should be concerned about issues such as jobs, trade and border security.
Voters in Wisconsin — and other crucial swing states — have no trouble seeing the impeachment circus for the sham it is. We'll be ready to re-elect President Trump in November 2020.
Sen. Tom Tiffany represents Wisconsin’s 12th Senate District. He is a candidate for Congress in the state's 7th Congressional District.
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