Nancy Pelosi has a major impeachment problem

House Democrats look well-positioned to retake the House majority in the midterm elections, fueled by their ...

Posted: Sep 12, 2018 2:09 PM
Updated: Sep 12, 2018 2:09 PM

House Democrats look well-positioned to retake the House majority in the midterm elections, fueled by their base's animosity toward President Donald Trump and absolutely committed to using the vote in 55 days' time to send a message to him.

Should the energized Democratic base deliver Nancy Pelosi the speakership she lost in the 2010 election, it would be a remarkable journey for the California Democrat, who has weathered eight years of speculation about her political future and growing calls within her caucus for her to step aside.

Donald Trump

Government and public administration

Impeachment

Nancy Pelosi

Political Figures - US

Political organizations

Political scandals

Politics

Scandals

US Democratic Party

US political parties

Government bodies and offices

Liberalism

Society

US federal government

White House

Continents and regions

Eastern Europe

Europe

Investigations

Russia

Russia meddling investigation

It would also present Pelosi with a massive dilemma -- as made plain by a new CNN-SSRS poll released on Wednesday morning.

Asked whether they believe that Trump "should be impeached and removed from office," or not, 47% said Trump should be impeached while 48% said they don't feel that way. Support for Trump's impeachment has grown from 42% in a CNN-SSRS poll conducted earlier this summer. (By comparison, 29% of people said then-President Barack Obama should be impeached and 70% said they didn't feel that way in a CNN poll conducted in late November 2014.)

Those numbers, on their face, are stunning. Less than two years into Trump's term, half the country would like to see him impeached. Like, now.

But dig into the party and ideological breakdowns of that impeachment questions, and Pelosi's potential dilemma becomes very, very clear. Almost eight in 10 (78%) Democrats believe Trump should be impeached immediately, while only 16% don't feel that way. The numbers among self-described "liberals" are nearly the same; 79% want Trump impeached as compared to 17% who don't.

You don't have to be a political genius to see the writing on the wall there: hardcore Democrats, the sort who are likely to turn out in droves come November 6, want Trump gone. Or at the very least, they want their leadership to push for articles of impeachment to be brought against him.

Which brings me back to Pelosi. She has been crystal clear for the last several months that she believes talking about impeaching Trump is a major mistake for her party. "I do not think that impeachment is a policy agenda," she told CNN's Chris Cuomo back in May. Last month, after longtime Trump attorney and personal fixer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to a number of charges including campaign finance violations, in which he suggested Trump was an active part of an effort to conceal hush payments to two women alleging affairs, Pelosi remained adamant that impeachment was not the right choice for the party. She called it "not a priority," adding: "Impeachment has to spring from something else."

As the new CNN poll shows, that stance puts Pelosi out-of-step with the overwhelming majority of her party's base. Which, politically speaking, is never a good place to be.

Now. Pelosi's arguments about impeachment deal with the here and now. Wary of handing Trump and Republicans an issue to campaign on, she has sought to downplay the idea in the context of the midterms. (Trump, of course, has seized on the idea of Democrats pushing for impeachment -- asking how he could possibly be impeached when he is doing such a good job.) Pelosi's stance on not talking about impeachment right now, her allies would argue, doesn't preclude her from embracing such a move post-election if circumstances change. In fact, Pelosi has nodded to the ongoing special counsel probe by Robert Mueller as something that needs to play out before the party even seriously engages with the idea of impeachment.

But for now the fact remains: Pelosi, who is widely seen as the next speaker of the House if Democrats can re-take the majority in 55 days' time, is not in the same place as the preponderance of the rank-and-file within her party on the impeachment question. It speaks, I think, to the broader disconnect between a base that wants to employ any means necessary to obstruct and remove Trump, and a party establishment -- even among avowed liberals like Pelosi -- that remains concerned over the potential political backlash to the move.

I've covered too many of Pelosi's successful leadership elections to predict that her dilemma on impeachment could lead to her defeat for the top job if Democrats take back the House. But it does speak to a larger divide within the party that will play out between now and 2020 as Democratic politicians try to find the right way to position themselves against Trump.

If the CNN poll is any indication, for the base, the more anti-Trump and pro-impeachment you are, the better.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 94189

Reported Deaths: 2046
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin26706928
Ramsey10775319
Dakota7428125
Anoka6006133
Stearns395024
Washington373555
Scott253233
Olmsted238828
Nobles196116
Blue Earth16766
Wright16037
St. Louis155539
Carver13967
Clay137140
Rice13288
Mower13225
Sherburne113714
Kandiyohi9822
Winona87018
Lyon6784
Waseca6148
Freeborn5404
Steele5402
Benton5363
Nicollet52916
Watonwan5204
Crow Wing49418
Todd4882
Chisago4841
McLeod4782
Le Sueur4604
Otter Tail4304
Beltrami4135
Martin39410
Goodhue3609
Pine3190
Itasca31314
Polk3054
Douglas2972
Isanti2890
Becker2722
Carlton2631
Morrison2331
Dodge2320
Cottonwood2240
Pipestone22010
Chippewa2081
Meeker1982
Sibley1913
Wabasha1880
Brown1842
Yellow Medicine1762
Rock1660
Cass1654
Murray1632
Mille Lacs1583
Redwood1581
Unassigned15552
Renville1478
Jackson1451
Faribault1410
Swift1371
Houston1250
Koochiching1213
Kanabec1198
Roseau1180
Pennington1171
Fillmore1160
Lincoln1110
Hubbard971
Stevens971
Pope920
Big Stone810
Aitkin761
Wadena680
Wilkin633
Grant614
Lake580
Norman540
Lac qui Parle531
Marshall511
Mahnomen461
Red Lake441
Traverse290
Clearwater270
Lake of the Woods211
Kittson120
Cook60

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 84671

Reported Deaths: 1303
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk15779262
Woodbury535664
Johnson510027
Black Hawk447290
Linn3973111
Story342917
Dubuque317341
Scott297128
Dallas277138
Pottawattamie208938
Buena Vista198412
Marshall177734
Sioux15653
Wapello132857
Webster125114
Plymouth112220
Clinton111221
Muscatine110054
Crawford10775
Cerro Gordo105121
Warren9516
Jasper83332
Des Moines7748
Marion7567
Henry7305
Tama70831
Carroll6605
Lee6247
Wright5811
Dickinson5106
Boone5058
Bremer4887
Washington45611
Louisa42815
Mahaska40619
Delaware3973
Franklin34718
Floyd3423
Jackson3373
Winneshiek3306
Hamilton3223
Clay3194
Lyon3184
Benton3091
Winnebago30113
Hardin2991
Poweshiek2928
Buchanan2741
Butler2702
Jones2693
Clarke2653
Kossuth2650
Shelby2651
Emmet26110
Allamakee2596
Clayton2523
Sac2480
Cherokee2462
Chickasaw2460
Guthrie2446
Cedar2411
Grundy2193
Fayette2172
Harrison2143
Madison2122
Iowa2041
Mitchell1890
Humboldt1883
Palo Alto1880
Howard1876
Hancock1842
Calhoun1823
Mills1781
Cass1632
Monroe15710
Osceola1570
Pocahontas1572
Lucas1566
Page1540
Monona1501
Jefferson1381
Appanoose1363
Union1313
Taylor1271
Davis1244
Ida1201
Fremont1150
Van Buren1141
Keokuk1071
Worth1070
Greene1000
Montgomery925
Wayne862
Audubon821
Adair711
Decatur670
Ringgold502
Adams330
Unassigned70
Rochester
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 59°
Mason City
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 57°
Albert Lea
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 61°
Austin
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 59°
Charles City
Few Clouds
63° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 63°
Cooler temperatures are almost here
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Clear Lake's about face on landlord fees

Image

Bird song at senior living facility

Image

Family of murder victim talks after arraignment

Image

Switching gears to a new season

Image

Ivanka Trump Campaigns Through Southeast Minnesota

Image

Art infused downtown Rochester

Image

Ivanka Trump stumps in Rochester

Image

Former Obama Homeland Security Secretary Stumps for Biden

Image

Voting curbside on election day

Image

Sara's Evening Forecast - Friday

Community Events