What do independent or moderate voters think about the impeachment inquiry? It really depends on who you’re asking.
Opinions on impeachment are going to vary, especially among the left and the right in this country. But how does the middle-ground feel about things? A focus group project, conducted jointly by two organizations (Engagious and Focus Pointe Global), is seeking to find out the attitudes of swing voters within so-called swing states, particularly in the Midwest.
According to their most recent round of questioning, which featured voters from Ohio, independent-minded voters aren’t too thrilled about the impeachment inquiry looking into President Donald Trump’s alleged misdeeds in office.
The Engagious/FPG focus group, whose findings were reported on by Axios on Monday, composed of 11 independent voters — eight who voted for Trump in 2016 but picked former President Barack Obama in 2012, and three who voted for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016 but wanted Republican candidate Mitt Romney to win four years prior.
“They need to focus on the real issues. Pelosi hates him so bad, I just think she needs to drop it and worry about the country.”
— Alexi McCammond (@alexi) October 14, 2019
Nine out of the 11 participants agreed: impeachment, to them, was a distraction from other issues.
Even with their qualms about impeachment, the independent voters in the focus group said it didn’t really affect their vote overall. Only four participants who voted for Trump in 2016 said they planned to do the same in 2020.
Still, if the results of this focus group’s attitudes toward impeachment don’t sit right with you, there’s probably a reason for that: focus groups aren’t exactly scientific depictions of how the rest of an area might vote.
Eleven participants cannot speak for millions of similarly-minded swing voters across the nation. For that, a poll is a much more reliable indicator of their attitudes. And the polls are showing that independents and moderates have favorable views about the impeachment inquiry.
According to a Washington Post/Schar School poll that was released earlier this month, 65 percent of moderate respondents said they backed a Democratic Party-led effort to start an impeachment inquiry on Trump’s actions. Among people who called themselves independents, 57 percent said they supported the inquiry.
Focus groups and polls are two ways to evaluate a certain segment group’s feelings on an issue, but both lack certain qualities that make them less reliable in some ways. Polls, for example, do not allow for participants to offer up more personal insights, while focus groups do. But focus groups, which are generally smaller in size, do not provide a reliable measure of an overall community’s beliefs.