Impeachment in the States

By Jim Ellis

Oct. 9, 2019 — The Civiqs polling firm, as covered in the Daily Kos Elections site, has been testing all 50 states regarding impeachment in a national tracking survey that attracted 150,070 online respondents from May 16 through Oct. 6. The latest numbers suggest that 51 percent of those respondents favor impeaching President Trump, while 45 percent oppose. But, it is in the breakdown of the states’ numbers where the true political story is being told.

Looking at the 50 individual states, it is no surprise that the respondents from almost all of the places that voted for Hillary Clinton support impeachment. But at this point, it appears President Trump has the potential of losing some of his coalition states. Arizona, Michigan, and Wisconsin all are now leaning toward impeachment.

Whether a person would or would not vote for an impeached president is not necessarily indicative about how their state would vote regarding a 2020 national candidate, but it does appear to be a reasonable gauge.

Arizona, a normally reliable Republican state but one that appears to be moving leftward, has 11 electoral votes. The Civiqs poll finds the Arizona respondents supporting impeachment 50-46 percent. The Michigan sample favors the impeachment inquiry, 51-45 percent. The Wolverine State has 18 electoral votes. Wisconsin, with 10 votes, also sees its Civiqs respondents currently favoring impeachment by a tight 49-47 percent margin.

Nevada, a Clinton 2016 state, and Iowa, a Trump state, are in flat ties according to Civiqs’ impeachment track. If the electoral vote count were based upon these results, the presidential election might come down to one state, or could even conceivably evolve into a 269-269 tie.

It is impossible to predict what twists and turns we will see before the impeachment issue is settled, nor can anyone accurate forecast how the electorate will respond. Right now, at least the Civiqs state tracking operation slightly favors the Democratic position on the impeachment question, but most of the margins are tight enough to quickly change.

In fact, in just the last day of the track, Arizona and Wisconsin switched from anti-impeachment to pro-impeachment, while Nevada went from pro-impeachment into a tie. This illustrates just how close the issue may be perceived in some of the more competitive states, and it is also a testament to the reliability factors in this type of polling. Remember, when analyzing tracking, the individual numbers are less important than are the trends over a distinct period of time.

The demographic subgroup divisions on this particular track report are not particularly surprising, thus giving more credence to their overall conclusions. Men oppose impeachment (44-52 percent) while women are highly supportive (57-39 percent). Democrats support impeachment 88-6 percent; Republicans oppose 8-90 percent. Whites heavily oppose impeachment; minorities heavily support. Respondents under 50 years of age support; people over 50 oppose.

But the group that splits evenly, which could well be the deciding subset in the coming election, is the Independent sector. According to this tracking survey, 48 percent of self-described independents support impeachment and 46 percent oppose.

Impeachment will be one of many issues that will help craft the 2020 election cycle and its eventual outcome. Today, no one has won, or lost, and it’s important to keep the issues of the day and current time period in perspective as we move forward to the long term.

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