Bozell & Graham Column: USA Today's Impeachment Push Poll

If there's anyone left in America who still thinks the national newspapers aren’t partisan, he must have missed the front page of USA Today on July 24. The banner headline across the top read “USA split on Trump impeachment.” They took a poll attempting to figure out very publicly if the voters want Trump impeached yet.

The story by reporters Susan Page and Emma Kinery proclaimed a dark omen in the results, which is why the newspaper asked the poll question. “Just six months after his inauguration, Americans already are split down the middle, 42%-42%, over whether President Trump should be removed from office, a new USA Today/iMediaEthics Poll finds.”

What's the impeachable offense?  If a national poll emerged with a 42-42 tie over the belief that the moon was made of Swiss cheese, would the subsequent analysis focus on the concentration of moon matter, or the irrationality of 42% of the American people?

It doesn’t matter that the prospect for impeachment is zero, with Republicans in control of Congress. The results, they reported, “underscore how quickly political passions have become inflamed both for and against the outsider candidate who won last year's campaign in a surprise.”

Translation: the media’s passions have been inflamed because Trump surprised them by beating Hillary Clinton. The media, like the rest of the Democrats, have refused to accept the election results. They believe it's an illegitimate presidency. 

It doesn’t matter at all to them that recent polls show Hillary Clinton remains every bit as unpopular today as she was in November. It doesn’t matter at all to them that Democrats can’t win a special election and remain in the wilderness. President Trump must go.

Here’s what’s weird about this USA Today poll: Trump’s approval rating is 44 percent, and 51 percent disapprove. That’s actually a better result than most national polls. It’s also strange that only 27 percent said they believe there’s enough evidence now to impeach Trump, and another 30 percent expect that it will surface…eventually.

USA Today turned to the “people” – read Trump-hating people – to comment on their poll.  One was Vera Peete of Antioch, California, who said “I don't really trust him -- all the things he's done while he's in office, all of the lies, the investigation that goes on with him, the things he says to his staff."

Peete was identified as an independent who voted for Hillary, so the idea of hating a president who piles on the lies and is dogged by investigations looks pretty ridiculous, given the Clintons’ history of lying and scandal. Nowhere in the paper did these reporters find space  for a pro-Trump voter, even though they elected this president.

Instead, USA Today kept piling on doom and gloom about America’s relentless turmoil and unease. “Nearly half, 46 percent, say Trump isn't likely to complete his first term, for whatever reason. Only about one in four, 27 percent, express confidence he'll serve all four years of his term. Even one in 10 Republicans doubt he'll finish his tenure.”

A look at the actual poll results demonstrated that the paper couldn’t even report its own poll results accurately. Their pollster found a clear majority of 57 percent -- 27 percent said “definitely will,” and another 30 percent said “probably will” -- believe Trump will finish his first term. Only 36 percent disagreed.

Now imagine a national newspaper asking voters in 2009 whether Barack Obama should be impeached, or questioning if he would finish his term. The Left would explode in rage over the inherent racism in such a preposterous question. After all, Democrats at that point were in control of both houses of Congress. Who thought that was plausible?

As we can see, plausibility has nothing to do with it. It’s all about the media’s relentless partisanship and scheming with poll questions.

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Brent Bozell's picture

Tim Graham's picture