Todd Frets About ‘Hurdle’ for Dems: Convincing Public Trump Needs to Go

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As part of their political coverage on Sunday Today, NBC News showed off a new poll they did (in conjunction with The Wall Street Journal) that claimed 49 percent of Americans supported impeaching and removing President Trump from office. But all was not well for political director and Meet the Press moderator, Chuck Todd. He worried that the “higher hurdle for the Democrats” was convincing the public that Trump needed to be removed.

After introducing Todd, host Willie Geist touted their poll findings in regards to their questions about impeachment. According to their questionnaire, they only had three options:

Impeach Donald Trump and remove him from office.

Not impeach Donald Trump and he should remain in office.

Not sure.

“Split nearly down the middle in this country. As I said, other polls have shown something about the same,” Geist announced (49% to 46% to 5% with a margin of error of 3.27%).

Of course, conveniently missing from the questionnaire was an option for the House to impeach and the Senate to acquit. Perhaps it was something in there that caused Todd to feel uneasy about the Democratic Party’s chances of removing Trump from office.

 

 

Todd thought the findings “sets up” a “higher hurdle for the Democrats than just proving the case.” According to Todd, the challenge was to convince the public Trump needed to go:

In some ways, the case is the easy part for them. But what our poll shows is there is a much higher bar in order to convince people he should be removed from office. And I think that is the real challenge in the next couple of weeks. It is not going to be laying out the case. It’s going to be making the case that it is so egregious what he did, Willie, that he has to be removed from office before voters get a chance to have a say.

That is what is setting up as the very high hurdle now that Democrats may have to clear,” he reiterated, blaming Republicans. “Simply because Republicans have chosen to politically stay united around this president.”

In worrying about whether or not the Democratic Party could clear the “higher hurdle” they set for themselves, by chasing impeachment, Todd wasn’t acting like the referee he once claimed himself to be. He was actually concerned about the Democrats pulling off what they and media most wanted.

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The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

NBC’s Sunday Today
November 3, 2019
8:05:06 a.m. Eastern

WILLIE GEIST: Chuck Todd is NBC's political director and moderator of Meet the Press. Chuck, good morning. Always good it see you.

You are going to roll out a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll on your program. We’ve got a sneak peek here. It’s a poll that reflects a lot of the polling we’ve seen on the question of impeachment. And this is, “should Congress impeach and remove the President from office?”

CHUCK TODD: Yup.

GEIST: Split nearly down the middle in this country. As I said, other polls have shown something about the same. Testimony from Colonel Alexander Vindman this week, seen as “damming” to the President. And looking ahead to this next week, we could see the national security adviser-- the former national security adviser, John Bolton giving a deposition to these congressional committees. What does it all add up to and do you think we'll see Bolton in the seat this week?

TODD: I don't think we're going to see Bolton in that seat this week. I mean, I think, Bolton’s made it clear, he's not voluntary doing anything.

GEIST: Right.

TODD: But his lawyers basically saying, you know, they’ll honor subpoenas and they certainly are trying to wait to find out do they have to honor the executive privilege that the White House is claiming or congressional subpoenas. So, I think he'll let the legal wrangling go first.

But let's go to the poll.

GEIST: Yeah.

TODD: You know, it is interesting here, I think this sets up, to me, a higher hurdle for the Democrats than just proving the case. In some ways, the case is the easy part for them. But what our poll shows is there is a much higher bar in order to convince people he should be removed from office. And I think that is the real challenge in the next couple of weeks. It is not going to be laying out the case. It’s going to be making the case that it is so egregious what he did, Willie, that he has to be removed from office before voters get a chance to have a say.

And I think that is -- that is what is setting up as the very high hurdle now that Democrats may have to clear. Simply because Republicans have chosen to politically stay united around this president.

GEIST: Yeah, and that’s kind of the argument you start to hear from Republican actually. “Yes, but, not impeachable.”

TODD: Right.

(…)

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