A Hill-HarrisX poll released Thursday revealed that 60 percent of Americans don’t believe that the Senate impeachment trial will reveal anything new and the majority of those polled said they will vote for a candidate, rather than a political party.
In essence, if the poll is an accurate depiction of how American’s feel come the 2020 election the candidate’s ability to bring in independents will be a deciding factor in the race for the presidency.
So is the poll evidence that voters will shift from straight ticket voting to split-ticket voting?
According to the poll roughly 85 percent of Independents said, as expected, that they will cast their vote for a candidate rather than a party.
What Happened In 2016?
The Hill news site noted that The Washington Post reported that the 2016 presidential election saw the highest percentage of straight ticket voters. At the time, “34 states with Senate races voted for the same party for the upper chamber as for president,” stated The Hill. Even during the 2018 midterm elections there was also a visible increase in straight-ticket voting.
But the responses to the new poll from The Hill come even though voters have been increasingly voting for the same party over the past decade.
Interestingly, the poll does show that 61 percent of Democratic supporters are hopeful that there will be a new bombshell at the trial to impeach President Donald Trump, Independents and Republicans stated their expectations of something new were much lower: 30 percent and 25% respectively.
Democrats Aren’t Making The Case In Senate Trial
As for Democratic supporters with high hopes of discovering any new evidence that would implicate President Trump in the impeachment trial, it appears they will be in for a huge disappointment. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-CA, who is prosecuting the case for the Senate has failed to show anything new. Instead, Schiff has repeated the same talking points (granted he adds extensive drama in his rhetoric) on the Senate floor.
However, Schiff’s dramatic readings and rhetoric haven’t been enough to keep his own political party awake during the long impeachment trial hours and the House Democrat’s rush to impeach the president – basically giving up their fight for more witnesses has left the Senate Democrats with little options under Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s rules.
Moreover, Americans just aren’t watching the Senate impeachment charade. It’s evident in the network ratings over the past week. For example, TV ratings during the first two days of the trial on the six news networks covering Trump’s impeachment averaged roughly 11 million viewers combined. Again, I say combined and that’s rough. Fox News lead the ratings with 2,654,000 on the channel from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (For full disclosure, I’m a Fox News Contributor.)
Even more telling are the ratings during prime time on the network news. Nielsen data showed that Sean Hannity drew roughly 4,246,000 million viewers and that’s double the network’s daytime impeachment audience. People just don’t want to watch the Senate impeachment hearing because for the last three years all the American audience has seen is a continued effort by Democrats to remove a duly elected president. Further, Democratic lawmakers have been promising their staunchest supporters since the Russia Hoax investigation by the FBI that they have evidence to remove Trump. They don’t. People are frankly sick of the game.
What the Democrats have done is weaponized the impeachment process and impeached the President on strictly partisan lines.
So as the battle on the Senate floor continues and as Americans continue to tune out from the long and often boring spectacle on the Senate floor, it’s no wonder The Hill-Harris poll shows Americans aren’t loyal to their political parties but again, looking for a candidate they can connect to.
The Hill-HarrisX poll surveyed 1,001 registered voters between Jan. 13 and 14. There is a margin of error is 3.1 percentage points. For more on this poll go to The Hill