Swing voters in battleground states are skeptical about impeachment, questioning why so much time and money is being spent on a long shot effort to unseat the president, according to focus group discussions conducted for a pro-Trump group.
The research for America First Policies is being used to develop the best messaging to push back against Democrats. On Tuesday, the process produced a flurry of emails, tweets, and events designed to showcase the president’s economic agenda.
Each of the 18 focus groups in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, and Michigan featured 10 to 12 participants chosen from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds.
They were conducted by Republican strategist Wes Anderson and former Trump campaign pollster Adam Geller, who screened out anyone who had already decided how they were voting in 2020.
While surveys suggest that independents are split on whether the evidence presented so far makes them more or less likely to support impeachment, voters at a focus group in Pittsburgh on Thursday, a day after public hearings began, were clear. No one raised their hand when asked if Trump should be impeached.
Respondents, identified only by their first name, said the process was difficult to follow and accused Democrats of a partisan vendetta.
In video viewed by the Washington Examiner, one respondent, Tosha, described it as a “huge waste of time and money.”
“You are Congress. Go make some laws. Go do something that is going to benefit the people,” she said. “But don’t waste taxpayer dollars so that you can prove a political point, which is that you don’t like Donald Trump, he’s exposed the way politicians work, and you are mad about it.”
Many expressed their distaste for Trump’s abrasive style but said he is being targeted for shaking up Washington.
And few saw any conclusive evidence of wrongdoing in the hearings, saying instead that they find it difficult to follow proceedings because the committee members jumped from question to question. “There’s no proof on the table,” said Brent.
Kelly Sadler, of America First Policies, said the message is clear.
“After watching 36 hours of focus group tapes from across the country, it is clear that these swing, independent voters want Congress to work for them. They find this is a waste of money, a waste of time, and they want them to focus on the issues that matter to them: on tax, on trade deals, healthcare,” she said.
“The president every day is going to work on behalf of the American people while Congress concocts this sham of an impeachment inquiry.”
Her words were echoed by messaging from the White House and allies on Tuesday.
Trump led a Cabinet meeting as part of an effort to show he remains focused on his job.
The Trump 2020 campaign sent fundraising appeals to supporters, saying: “The Fake News media and their Democrat Partners are hellbent on impeaching your president.
“Instead of doing their jobs by working on behalf of the American People, they’d rather waste your time and taxpayer dollars on this scam. It’s despicable.”
The White House welcomed 17 local radio shows and regional TV outlets on Tuesday morning, according to deputy press secretary Judd Deere, “reaching tens of millions of households across the country to promote the president’s winning trade agenda.”