The Midwest decided the election in 2016. It was the Indiana primary that clearly stated that outside voices were worth hearing, and Hoosiers voted for Donald Trump over then-candidate Sen. Ted Cruz. In the presidential election, it was Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan that let their voices be heard: Trump over Hillary.
Now that impeachment is upon America heading into the 2020 election, what does the Midwest have to say? This must be a consideration for Democrats and Republicans alike: Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio may very well determine the presidency. And Indiana, with it’s May 5th primary, may become a major battleground if no candidate can gain a consensus coming out of Super Tuesday (and it’s looking this way more and more.)
Here’s what the Midwest is saying: Stop talking impeachment and start listening to us! The polling may show America and these swing states are split on impeachment, but the people speaking out are saying they want their lives made better, and they don’t care about partisan narratives.
A Marquette University poll shows 51% of respondents do not want impeachment. While national polls are showing more of a 50/50 split on impeachment, Wisconsin is more opposed. And Wisconsin determined 2016 results, a fact that Democrats are more than aware of. 41% say the economy has gotten better. 63% want government doing more for small farmers, which puts more pressure on Democrats to pass USMCA. Speaker Nancy Pelosi refuses to bring the trade deal to the floor for a vote, fearing (rightfully) that it will help President Trump.
As Real Clear Politics noted in their headline on November 28th, Impeachment Fight Leaves Voters Cold in Contested Wisconsin.
(Pennsylvania may not technically be the Midwest, but they went for Trump in 2016 and their 20 Electoral Votes matter greatly. So, I’m including them.)
The Morning Call shows the same results in their poll. 51% of respondents supported the impeachment inquiry. However, when asked about removing President Trump from office, 49% were in favor, 48% were opposed. The bigger number to take from the poll (which, admittedly, has a MOE of +/- 6%) is that only 2% would consider changing their opinion.
This should not be taken as Pennsylvanians like President Trump. But, as NY Post columnist Salena Zito pointed out on NPR, “(It’s) Not that they like Trump any more – they still don’t like him. But they’re frustrated that the vote that they did give to the Democrats has turned out to be sort of opening up the road towards impeachment, and they don’t like that.”
Again, information that Democrats will have to consider now that they’ve decided that impeachment is their proudly displayed scarlet letter.
President Trump won Ohio with more votes than any Republican since 1988, winning 80 of 88 counties. Without Ohio, the road for any candidate to the White House is difficult. As CNN writes in their headline, Ohio voters voice dismay over Trump’s actions but aren’t convinced on impeachment.
The article is replete with phrases that get echoed across the Midwest:
- “From the jump, it seems like people have been on him — it’s like they’re on a witch hunt”
- “But it seems like kind of a witch hunt. They look for everything he does wrong, and it’s been like that from the beginning…. I don’t really like him that much, but I don’t really like any of the other ones, either.”
- “I don’t know how to feel about it….because I’m not exactly sure what Ukraine knows. But Ukraine is an independent country. It’s no longer with Russia,” “So what’s all the hullabaloo about? … Let’s get some policy work done.”
A poll from CantonRep.com on October 31 showed 47% of voters support impeachment, and 43% percent oppose. Just two weeks earlier, Axios reported that voters they spoke to were “outraged” over impeachment. Among the quotes in there reporting was this, “9 of the 11 participants raised their hands to say impeachment is a distraction from the issues they care most about — things like wages and unemployment, border security, bringing troops home, and health care costs and access.”
The unemployment rate is 3.5%. The wall is still being fought by Democrats. President Trump wants to bring troops home from Syria and, seriously under reported, Trump unveiled transparency rules for healthcare providers; forcing them to provide pricing information to patients before they enter a hospital.
Polling may paint one picture in Ohio, but when the voters are spoken to, they provide a much different view.
President Trump won Michigan in 2016 by just over 10,000 votes, which means the state’s 16 Electoral Votes are available for both major parties. Across the state, according to polls and reporting, the sentiment towards Congress remains the same: Stop focusing on impeachment and focus on issues.
Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee has stated that his constituents are interested more in issues that effect their daily lives:
Mostly, I hear that they want us to work on issues like the prescription drug prices, trade, and the economy,” Kildee told Fox News on Dec. 5. “They do offer their thoughts on this and I think that’s positive, but mostly the American people want us to work on the issues that affect them at the kitchen table everyday.
Another Democratic Representative, Elissa Slotkin, who told a recent townhall that she favored the impeachment inquiry, was booed and heckled.
Axios took a look at head to head matchups between President Trump and leading Democratic presidential candidates in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. In the head to head between Trump and former Vice-President Joe Biden, Trump lost again and again, until recently. In all three states over the last month, Trump beats Biden. From Alex Conant of Firehouse Strategies, “Democrats racing towards impeachment are at serious risk of leaving behind the voters they need to retake the White House next year.”
Impeachment doesn’t fare well in the polling. When you speak to the voters in must-win states, it does even worse.
(This article originally posted at wibc.com)