Democrats, Independents Are Less Supportive of House’s Biden Impeachment Inquiry
Backing for the House’s Biden impeachment inquiry increased by 9 percentage points among Republican voters (from 63% to 72%), while opposition rose by an identical amount among Democratic voters (from 56% to 65%) following the first hearing on Sept. 28.
Roughly 3 in 5 voters (59%) said they had seen, read or heard at least something about it — higher than the 51% who said the same of the second Republican debate the day before.
Two in 5 voters said the impeachment investigation is intended to damage Biden's political career while 43% cited evidence of wrongdoing by Biden, similar to the shares that said the same in mid-September.
Following House Republicans’ first impeachment hearing into President Joe Biden, the electorate is becoming far more partisan on the issue.
According to our tracking of public backing for the impeachment investigation — which relates to the business dealings of first son Hunter Biden and other family members — the overall electorate is no more likely to support or oppose the current probe than they were before the Sept. 28 hearing.
Support for the Impeachment Probe Strengthens Among Republican Voters
While topline support didn’t change, backing for the probe increased by 9 percentage points among Republican voters (from 63% to 72%), while opposition rose by an identical amount among Democratic voters (from 56% to 65%) over the two week period. Among independent voters, support for the investigation dropped by 4 percentage points, though they remain more likely to back it than not (43% to 37%).
The House’s first impeachment hearing was not an especially salient news event, though roughly 3 in 5 voters (59%) said they had seen, read or heard at least something about it — higher than the 51% who said the same of the second Republican debate the day before.
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The House Committee on Oversight and Reform’s meeting turned up no new evidence to support the condemnation of the president, with one Republican-called witness, University of North Carolina law professor Michael Gerhardt, suggesting the Biden inquiry could be based on partisanship.
That question of motive divides the electorate, with 40% saying the impeachment investigation is out to damage Biden's political career and 43% citing evidence of wrongdoing by Biden, similar to the shares that said the same in mid-September.
The bottom line
Our data shows that while some dissatisfied Democrats continue to support the Biden impeachment inquiry, the probe is more likely to become more of a tool to motivate the Republican Party’s base ahead of the 2024 presidential elections — especially given its weak support among independents.
At the same time, growing awareness of the probe seems to have helped the White House bring more Democrats and some independents in line with the president’s opposition to it, or at least chip away at support. This suggests House Republicans need to put points on the board against Biden or risk alienating voters who may be wary of the president on its highest-profile investigative effort.
Eli Yokley is Morning Consult’s U.S. politics analyst. Eli joined Morning Consult in 2016 from Roll Call, where he reported on House and Senate campaigns after five years of covering state-level politics in the Show Me State while studying at the University of Missouri in Columbia, including contributions to The New York Times, Politico and The Daily Beast. Follow him on Twitter @eyokley. Interested in connecting with Eli to discuss his analysis or for a media engagement or speaking opportunity? Email [email protected].