The House voted to start the impeachment investigation and has started the public portion of the hearings. What will the measured impact be? How can we measure it? What can the results of these measurements mean?
One way to measure the impact of the House investigation is public sentiment. We can scrutinize polling from known legitimate pollsters such as Quinnipiac, Monmouth or Five Thirty Eight’s aggregate polls. For instance, the Quinnipiac poll in September showed 47% supported impeachment while 47% were opposed. In October the same poll showed 46% supported impeachment while 48% were opposed. Virtually no movement. Events that occurred in between the polling had no influence on the public’s thoughts on the matter. When the House completes its impeachment hearings we can gauge the publics support again. If it has not move much this means that House’s investigation had no influence on the public’s opinion at large.
In the House we have concrete and specific measures we can use to evaluate the effectiveness of the House’s inquiry. We can measure the change in literal votes from each of the representatives. The initial vote resulted in 231 Democrats for impeachment and 2 against. Republicans voted 0 for impeachment and 194 against. One Independent voted for impeachments. One Democrat and three Republicans did not vote.
If the investigation was effective then we should see either Republican’s vote for impeachment that voted against impeachment or we should see Democrats cross lines and change their vote to no. If the resulting votes are nearly identical it will show that the hearings had no influence over representative’s opinions. This is a very likely outcome and would demonstrate that either the information provided was not valuable or that partisanship has risen to such a high degree it is close to crippling our legislative branch. Neither has good implications but we should seriously consider if we are willing to remove from office the most powerful leader of the free world with an investigation that provided no value and under an environment that is severely partisan. What will this mean for the next president?