I will say it again. Keep your eyes on the prize. The Republican Party is an ill assorted and unstable alliance of people with very different sets of grievances and agendas. The key to escaping from the currently rancid state of our politics is driving a wedge between these factions, so that they no longer act in concert.
There are some things that progressives can do to support that noble end. But our biggest ally in driving that wedge is Donald J. Trump himself.
Look at the data on how Trump’s mad response to impeachment talk is dividing the Republican Party.
Yes, the majority will probably stay with him.
The important thing is to drive that stake through the heart of the Republican Party.
A previous Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Sept. 24 found that 37% of all Americans thought Trump should be impeached and that 45% said he should not. A week later, the number saying he should be impeached rose to 45%, while the number saying he should not be removed from office dropped to 41%.
Support for impeachment was clearly divided between registered Republicans and Democrats, with 13% of GOP voters saying the president should be impeached and 81% saying he should not. Among Democrats, 75% favored impeachment and 14% said they were opposed. And 38% of registered independent voters said Trump should be impeached while 39% said he should not.
The change since May has largely come among independents and Republicans. About three-quarters of Democrats favor impeaching Trump and removing him from office, roughly the same as in May, while among independents, support for impeachment and removal has risen 11 points to 46% among independents and 8 points to 14% among Republicans.
The shift has also come notably among younger Americans. Sixty percent of those under age 35 now say they support impeaching Trump and removing him from office, up from 43% who felt that way in May, while support for the move among older Americans has held about even (42% now vs. 40% in May). Previous CNN polling on impeachment has not found such a stark gap by age.
And that shift is concentrated on the GOP side. Among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents under age 50, support for impeaching Trump and removing him from office has risen from 9% in May to 22% now, while views among older Republicans and Republican leaners have held about even with just 8% in favor of impeachment and removal from office.
Since House Democrats launched a formal impeachment inquiry last Tuesday, support for impeachment has grown, according to polls from Politico/Morning Consult, HuffPost/YouGov, NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist, CBS News/YouGov, and Quinnipiac.
These shifts suggest that public sentiment could continue to change as the inquiry proceeds. Such increases in support could bode well for Democratic leaders, who have been reluctant to pursue impeachment out of concerns that negative public sentiment may hurt the party’s chances of keeping the House majority.