Senate Democrats representing red states are worried the House impeachment process may spin out of control and destroy any chance their party might have of winning back the majority next year. These Democrats hope the House keeps its impeachment focus on the Ukraine controversy, and that Democrats act relatively quickly. If they do not, the red-state Democrats warn President Trump could turn the tables on them...One Democratic senator who requested anonymity to discuss the dynamics within the Democratic caucus said Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has told his colleagues that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wants to keep the scope of the impeachment inquiry as narrow as possible. The senator, who favors a broader scope, said that “people are worried” about potential political fallout within the Democratic caucus.The Australia dud probably gave some of these hand-wringers extra heartburn, demonstrating how a lack of focus and half-baked hype can benefit Trump. And as I mentioned on Fox earlier, while some Senate Democrats hope that their House colleagues act quickly on a narrow focus, there are other Democrats pushing for protracted hearings on an array of issues. It's also interesting to see Democrats urging the House to move quickly based on exclusively and transparently political considerations. Republicans will certainly be keeping an eye out for internal strife over timelines and strategy across the aisle, which could be politically exploitable. Keep in mind that Nancy Pelosi hasn't formally pulled the trigger on a full House vote authorizing the impeachment inquiry that her party says it is undertaking, as is the precedent. If she's serious about the troubling constitutional matters and power abuses about which she's been gravely intoning (warning members not to seem giddy), why is she playing this nakedly political game?
By forgoing a full House vote to authorize an impeachment inquiry, Mrs. Pelosi has amped up the partisanship. Instead of moving ahead with the full backing of the elected representatives of the American people, she has launched the Trump impeachment by personal ukase. Even more remarkable, it has been greeted with a collective ho-hum. True, the Constitution does not require a House vote. It’s also true, however, that Mrs. Pelosi has no precedent for what she has done, and by eliminating a House vote, she has denied the House minority the opportunity to be heard before Congress begins exercising its most formidable constitutional power short of declaring war: the process of removing an elected president.On the public opinion front, with their party closing ranks behind the impeachment inquiry, Democratic voters have shifted significantly in that direction (with Republicans heavily opposed) -- and independents splitting against impeachment and removal in the latest D-friendly Quinnipiac poll:
Breakdown by party:— Steve Kornacki (@SteveKornacki) September 30, 2019
Dems: 90-5% support
GOP: 92-7% oppose
Independents: 42/50% oppose
And while support for impeaching Trump has jumped considerably, so has his strong support, which could be an early kernel of a backlash; the sort of thing that could give Democrats representing red-tinted constituencies anxiety. Monmouth's latest national poll indicates that a majority of the country remains opposed to impeachment (with the president's very mediocre job approval rating unchanged), although the share of those favoring that outcome has climbed slightly. Voters favor the investigation, but not impeachment. How those dynamics shift with events is anybody's guess, but the risk of overreach is real. Speaking of which, I'll leave you with this:
In WaPo, former Obama speechwriter, Dem lawyer fantasize about removing Trump *and* Pence from office. Recommend roadmap for 'President Pelosi.' https://t.co/1FNKkZ2ZCj— Byron York (@ByronYork) October 1, 2019
JUST NOW: Senator Bernie Sanders tells crowds at New Hampshire rally, “But given the impeachment process that is now taking place, if it’s not Trump we’re going to beat Mike Pence more. Even worse.”— Nicole Sganga (@NicoleSganga) September 30, 2019
And so it begins. #nhpolitics #FITN pic.twitter.com/8GM3x89igs
We're already onto President Pence, eh, Bernie?