It is possible to argue that post-Mueller report investigations must continue for the foreseeable future without respect to the electoral timetable, allowing the need to impeach to loom, but also wait for some critical mass in public opinion before acting.
There are a number of differing views.
A new article in FiveThirtyEight seems to support “another argument against impeachment, that Democrats should instead focus on issues where a clear majority of the public is on the party’s side. This is Pelosi’s strategy, pushing more popular proposals like defending the Affordable Care Act provision that bars insurance companies from denying coverage or charging higher prices for people with preexisting conditions, and making it easier for Americans to register to vote on Election Day.”
Would impeachment help Trump’s reelection prospects?
Maybe, but probably not.
Above, I dismissed the idea that Trump would get a short-term boost from impeachment. But what if he can spend a year saying the Democrats tried to remove him from office? Well, here’s the thing: Impeachment or not, Trump is likely to act as though Democrats tried to get rid of him. He has already cast the Mueller investigation as akin to a “coup.” The idea that Democrats are obsessed with taking Trump down will likely be in the president’s campaign commercials and echoed by Republicans in Congress and on Fox News no matter what Democrats do in the next 17 months.
Americans’ views on Trump’s presidency appear to be fairly set — the safest bet is that impeachment doesn’t change them too much.
To emphasize the obvious: The electoral impact of impeachment is really difficult to predict. It’s not clear that an impeachment push would hurt Democrats electorally (or help them).
So that leaves Democrats with an underlying question: How strongly do they believe in the case for impeaching Trump, electoral considerations aside? As long as Republicans remain behind Trump, impeachment would be a symbolic action to some extent. But it’s still a powerful and important symbolic act.
Even outspoken Democrats fall in line behind Pelosi on impeachment. https://t.co/meWVmXJwP9
— Jean Holland Bailey (@JeanHollandBai6) May 16, 2019