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Voters Will Decide Whether Impeachment Helped or Hurt Trump

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    The all but inevitable impeachment of President Trump (which is very different than his conviction in the Senate) has gotten me thinking about how it will affect his chances in 2020. Let's just say, for the sake of argument, Donald Trump is impeached by the House and not convicted in the Senate. What happens next is what I'm starting to think about. So, if possible, I hope we can focus on that and not whether or not President Trump should be impeached and removed from office.

    My personal opinion is impeachment will be a small, but not insignificant, net loss for the President. His base of supporters aren't going anywhere, but in order to win in 2020 he must keep the same coalition he built in 2016 and find ways to build on it. His popular vote margin was the third smallest in our nations history and his Electoral College margin ranked at 46th out of the 58th Presidential elections we've had. Since then, the three states that helped elect him - Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin - have all turned blue. That should keep Trump up more at night than any impeachment hearing.

    On the other hand, I can also see Trump's acquittal in the Senate (if that is what indeed happens) galvanizing his base and dejecting the left to the point of despair. Add in the very real possibility of a contentious Democratic Primary splitting the party in the same way it did in 2016 and all of a sudden Trump being impeached *could be* the best thing that happened to him.

    So, I can honestly see it both ways. I can see impeachment galvanizing the left *and* the right. And that means that, no matter what happens in the impeachment of Donald Trump, the voters will be the final arbiters of his fate.

    What do you think? Will impeachment help or hurt Trump moving forward?

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    I agree that it could really go either way. If we look at our very limited history of impeached Presidents, the opposing party has been elected in the next Presidential election every time (including Nixon, who resigned before a formal vote of impeachment in the US House).

    That bodes well for Democrats, but I also have more than a few reasons why I think it could be different this time. For starters - this has only happened three prior times in our history (once again, including Nixon in this group), so there's not much historical precedent to base anything off of. Not just that, but both Nixon and Clinton were in their second term when their investigations were conducted. Add in the fact that political parties are far (and I mean FAR) more partisan than they were during the Nixon and Clinton impeachments and we're in truly uncharted territory this time around.

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    Had to look up who the 3rd president in this conversation even was.. it was Andrew Johnson in 1868. Turns out it was a pretty interesting story, how and why he was impeached:

    Johnson was elected as Abraham Lincoln’s vice president in 1864. The toughest decision facing Lincoln’s second term was how to reestablish ties with the Confederate states now that the Civil War was over. Lincoln’s plan for Reconstruction favored leniency while so-called “Radical Republicans” in his party wanted to punish Southern politicians and extend full civil rights to freed slaves.

    Lincoln was assassinated only 42 days into his second term, leaving Johnson in charge of Reconstruction. He immediately clashed with the Radical Republicans in Congress, calling for pardons for Confederate leaders and vetoing political rights for freedmen. In 1867, Congress retaliated by passing the Tenure of Office Act, which barred the president from replacing members of his cabinet without Senate approval.

    Believing the law to be unconstitutional, Johnson went ahead and fired his Secretary of War, an ally of the Radical Republicans in Congress. Johnson’s political enemies responded by drafting and passing 11 articles of impeachment in the House.

    "Sir, the bloody and untilled fields of the ten unreconstructed States, the unsheeted ghosts of the two thousand murdered negroes in Texas, cry [...] for the punishment of Andrew Johnson," wrote the abolitionist Republican Representative William D. Kelley from Pennsylvania.

    Johnson was impeached in the House of Representatives by 126 votes to 47, but narrowly avoided a two-thirds guilty verdict in the Senate by a single vote. After his acquittal, he served out the rest of his term and became the first (and only) former U.S. president to be elected to the Senate.

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    Richard1022 Wrote:

    What do you think? Will impeachment help or hurt Trump moving forward?

    In regards to your question, I have been thinking of this very question for a few weeks now for the same reasons. I do think he will get impeached and then promptly be acquitted in the Senate. And then where does that leave us? He would make history as the first president to ever be re-elected after an impeachment, which is astounding if that were to happen.

    But I don't think it will. I'm not confident of this prediction, but I do think a lot of the country has turned on Trump, basically everyone that's not in his camp hardcore already. I think his narrow victory was won in 2016 by a good amount of undecided voters that simply did not want to vote for Hilary. Agree or disagree, she was not a very liked candidate.

    So I think the Democrats just have to nominate someone that is less polarizing than Hilary. And try their best not to make this a 'lesser of two evils' type of election again. I think they will accomplish that and even though we are as polarized as ever as a country now and Trump's base will still turn out in droves, I predict the Dems will win as no one in the current crop is as polarizing as Hilary was, and Trump will ultimately lose out on all the undecided votes this time around.

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    J.K.Logic Wrote: In regards to your question, I have been thinking of this very question for a few weeks now for the same reasons. I do think he will get impeached and then promptly be acquitted in the Senate. And then where does that leave us? He would make history as the first president to ever be re-elected after an impeachment, which is astounding if that were to happen.

    But I don't think it will. I'm not confident of this prediction, but I do think a lot of the country has turned on Trump, basically everyone that's not in his camp hardcore already. I think his narrow victory was won in 2016 by a good amount of undecided voters that simply did not want to vote for Hilary. Agree or disagree, she was not a very liked candidate.

    So I think the Democrats just have to nominate someone that is less polarizing than Hilary. And try their best not to make this a 'lesser of two evils' type of election again. I think they will accomplish that and even though we are as polarized as ever as a country now and Trump's base will still turn out in droves, I predict the Dems will win as no one in the current crop is as polarizing as Hilary was, and Trump will ultimately lose out on all the undecided votes this time around.

    I agree with pretty much everything here. The stars had to perfectly align in 2016 for Trump to get elected and they magically did. Three years later and he has kept the Republican base unflinchingly loyal to him, but he hasn't expanded the base one iota and is the first President in the history of modern polling to never reach a 50% approval rating.

    What's interesting is how I'm not surprised that the impeachment hearings didn't seem to change any minds. If you're a Trump fan then it's yet another "witch hunt" and if you're a Trump foe then he's guilty of bribery and extortion. Everyone is in their tribal camp and they will stay that way for the foreseeable future.

    Patriotism, definitions of words, and facts are now partisan. It's very worrying when you think about it.

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    Since the impeachment was not done following the constitution I don't accept it as legally binding. President Trump will survive this and go on to another 4 year term of accomplishing what he has promised to do. And he has done many promises already. People are totally waking up to what the democrats have been up to for years. Hope it all comes out and ppl are indicted as they legally should be. Cheers.
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    redisgood Wrote: Since the impeachment was not done following the constitution I don't accept it as legally binding. President Trump will survive this and go on to another 4 year term of accomplishing what he has promised to do. And he has done many promises already. People are totally waking up to what the democrats have been up to for years. Hope it all comes out and ppl are indicted as they legally should be. Cheers.

    How would you say the House impeachment of President Trump was not done according to the Constitution?

    Article I, Section 2. of our Constitution reads: The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment. That seems pretty cut and dry to me.

    And throwing political opponents in jail is what tin-pot dictators do. We all need to take a deep breath and remind ourselves that we're all in this democratic experiment together and we should stop taking it for granted.