Your Wonky Week – Dec. 5, 2019

This Week in Wonky News!

We’re complete policy wonks, and we own that. 

We talk about politics and polls and studies and data all the time. Because we know lots of folks (like you) are keen on knowing what’s going on “in the weeds,” we’re sharing (in a blissfully SHORT newsletter) some things we think are interesting right now. So here’s something to read, impeachment numbers for the week, and a new feature: “What’s Up on Fox News”. 

Something Interesting to Read: 

There’s a lot to love about this Upshot piece that lays out (in nifty graphs!!) what’s most important to both parties. It not only shows the percentage of Democrats or Republicans agree with any one issue, but shows its relative weight. 

That’s key, because Republicans agree with Democrats on a number of issues … that they just don’t prioritize in the same way. 

For example, nearly 65% of Republicans agree that there should be NO ban on abortion. But because it rates in importance below such things as allowing the ten commandments in public buildings, it’s just not (yet) a motivator.

On the contrary, 87% of Democrats oppose abortion bans – and it’s our third most important issue – just a hair below impeaching Trump.   

Here’s another. Over 90% of Republicans agree with universal background checks. But they rate that even lower than they rated the abortion question.

On the other hand, over 95% of Democrats agree with background checks – and it’s in our top 5-6 issues.     

Even though this piece is intended to show that both parties prioritize impeachment (and both do), there’s a lot more to unpack with this one. So go check it out here: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/05/upshot/impeachment-biggest-issue-voters-poll.html 

Impeachment Numbers: Week of December 6, 2019:  

The most recent polls are the first ones that show the real impact of the impeachment hearings.
So let’s compare where we were two weeks ago:  

Here are the overall/combined numbers:

November 21:
46.3% supported impeachment
45.6% opposed impeachment 

December 5: 
47.8% support impeachment (+1.5%!)
44.0% oppose impeachment. (-1.6%) 

But let’s look at the impeachment AND removal numbers, too:

November 21:
45.6% supported impeachment + removal
45.5% opposed impeachment + removal 

December 5:
46.8% support impeachment + removal (+1.2%!!)
44.5% oppose impeachment + removal (-1%) 

Oh, my. From November 21 to this week, those who supported impeachment + removal increased by over 1%, and those who opposed dropped by 1%. 

Stay tuned… 

What’s Up on Fox News: 

As you know, friends don’t let friends watch Fox News, so we’re taking one for the team and watching for you. 

The strategy on Fox is to pretend that what’s happening isn’t happening, and if it is happening it’s not important anyway, and the facts don’t say what they look like they say – and even if they do, facts don’t matter. 

But, most importantly, they draw the whole impeachment process as a battle between “us” vs. “them.” (Democrats are the “them” in this scenario.) 

This quote from Hannity Wednesday night sums it all nicely: “Democrats thought we — the stupid, smelly Trump-supporting Wal-Mart shoppers that believe in God and America— need to be educated on the virtues of impeachment,” Hannity said. “To educate we the people, the masses of peoples, they hauled in three hyper-partisan, far left, holier than thou, sanctimonious, self-righteous ivory tower law school professors to teach us about the constitution.” 

“The really good news tonight is, to their credit, Republicans, they were united,” Hannity added. “They fought back in a big and effective way.” 

The goal is to make this a partisan fight rather than a serious constitutional process, and to paint Democrats as highfalutin jerks who look down on Republicans. You can see how framing the impeachment process that way makes it easier for them to plant alternative theories and bolster negative partisanship.  

As expected, FoxNews.com is working in sync with their cable programming.  

“Impeachment by Farce,” says one headline. Another: “ED ROLLINS: I served four presidents and never saw anything like this”. And “Lectures from the left: White House and GOP cite evidence of Democrat law professor witnesses’ past anti-Trump bias.”  

So when you look at those polls and scratch your head wondering how on earth over 40% of Americans don’t want Trump removed, remember that Fox News is the number one most watched cable news provider in the U.S., and is still the number one most watched during prime time. 

The people watching that programming are seeing and hearing a very different version of reality. 

Scary? You betcha. So let’s do something about it, shall we? 

That’s why we’re working so hard on our Dump Trump project, a small-dollar monthly program that supports the 2020 Democratic “presumptive” nominee for President. Dump Trump is the only 2020 nominee fund that sends your support immediately to whichever candidate wins enough delegates to secure the nomination.

Others wait until the nominee has been officially named at the convention, which is usually weeks later. That means for a few weeks our nominee is a sitting duck waiting for party resources to kick in, while the GOP takes $100 million worth of shots at them.  

If you think that sounds crazy, it’s because it is.  So join us.   

Know you’re doing what you can *right now* to make sure our Democratic nominee has what s/he needs when s/he needs it the most – join today at www.itstarts.today/dumptrump

Stay wonky!