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Reported By Karista Baldwin | Published April 28, 2019 at 8:01am

Democratic leaders are in a tough spot as their base pushes for the president’s impeachment while most Americans oppose it.

A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll found that the majority of Americans are against impeaching the president following the publication of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report. According to the poll, around 37 percent of Americans are pro-impeachment, a slightly lower figure than last month. Meanwhile, 56 percent of Americans oppose impeachment.

Breaking the results into parties: 62 percent of Democrats responded to the poll in support of impeachment, while 87 percent of Republican respondents opposed to it. Among independents, 36 percent support impeaching the president, showing a drop in the group’s support for impeachment since before the release of the Mueller report, according to January’s Washington Post/ABC News poll. Poll respondents who strongly oppose impeachment also outnumber those who strongly support, with strong opposition at 49 percent and strong support at 29 percent.

According to ABC News, this shows a 10-point rise since August in those strongly opposed to impeachment. It also reflects an 11-point decrease since August in those strongly in favor of impeachment.

The results reveal a dilemma for Democratic politicians at the moment: keeping their increasingly leftist base happy without alienating the majority of Americans who are against impeachment. The impeachment issue has already shown itself to be divisive within the Democratic party. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, both Democratic presidential nominee contenders, are placing their bets on pro-impeachment voters. Both senators have publicly urged Congress to initiate impeachment proceedings against Trump.

“I believe Congress should take the steps towards impeachment,” Harris said, reported by CNN. “I believe that we need to get rid of this President.”

Warren has also taken a firm stance in support of impeaching Trump.

“The severity of this misconduct demands that elected officials in both parties set aside political considerations and do their constitutional duty,” Warren wrote on Twitter last week. “That means the House should initiate impeachment proceedings against the President of the United States.”

Meanwhile, old-school Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has taken it upon herself do damage control for her party. Her more pragmatic approach to impeachment has shown itself to be at odds with her younger Democratic colleagues.

“Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country,” Pelosi told The Washington Post in March. “And he’s just not worth it.”

The public’s views on impeachment may be backing Democrats into a lose-lose situation. While Pelosi is working to appeal to the largest group of Americans on the issue of impeachment, she’s risking angering more leftist Democrats.

And while Harris and Warren cite the Mueller report as grounds for impeachment, 58 percent of Americans say that the results of the report had no effect on their view of the Trump administration, according to the Washington Post/ABC poll. In fact, 46 percent of the poll respondents said they won’t be taking the report into consideration when they vote in the 2020 presidential election.

Democratic nominee hopefuls may have to choose between upsetting their more extreme leftist supporters or alienating the general populace, who obviously aren’t eager to initiate impeachment. Either way could cost Democratic contenders their party’s nomination.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

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Karista Baldwin studied constitutional law, politics and criminal justice at the University of Dallas and the University of Texas at Dallas.

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