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The Public Is Watching: Americans React To Impeachment Hearings

Olivia Tobin and her fiancé, Jordan Ashby, ignore the televised impeachment hearings playing on monitors at the Commercial Street Pub, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Portland, Maine. (Robert F. Bukaty/AP)
Olivia Tobin and her fiancé, Jordan Ashby, ignore the televised impeachment hearings playing on monitors at the Commercial Street Pub, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Portland, Maine. (Robert F. Bukaty/AP)

How did Americans respond to what they heard? We talk with local reporters across the country about what residents are telling them.


David Smiley, political reporter for the Miami Herald. (@NewsbySmiley)

Maayan Silver, reporter for WUWM News in Milwaukee. (@maayansilver)

Julia Terruso, reporter covering politics and the 2020 presidential election for the Philadelphia Inquirer. (@JuliaTerruso)

From The Reading List

The Guardian: “Opinion: Impeachment is not the issue voters in Iowa care about” — “Right now, impeachment is not top of mind in Iowa, even for the most likely caucus-goers. Corn yields are more urgent as the golden harvest pours in. They may be off by 10-15%, my farmer friend says. It’s that wacky weather that brought floods and late planting, and has mucked up the harvest. That’s what people are talking about in north-west Iowa.

“Of the more than dozen Democratic presidential candidates who have stumped in Storm Lake, only Tom Steyer brought up impeachment. Nobody is asking. They want to know about immigration (where half the town of 15,000 is Latino) and healthcare, and what to do about unreliable weather and corn yields.

“That’s precisely what JD Scholten heard on his tour of 39 towns in the fourth congressional district that have a population of 1,000 people or less. Not one question about impeachment. No mention of President Trump. Not even much talk about Representative Steve King, the Republican whom Scholten hopes to unseat.”

The Hill: “Will Florida’s Hispanics end Trump’s presidency?” — “President Trump’s fate in the impeachment inquiry will be decided by Congress. But his electoral fate will be decided by voters on Election Day, and in particular by a subset of this group: Hispanic Americans.

“For the first time in history, Hispanics will be the largest minority voting bloc.

“America’s Hispanic population consists of a huge Mexican American population, as well as smaller groups of Hispanics that include Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans, Salvadorans, Guatemalans and Hondurans.

“For clarity, there are nearly 60 million Hispanic Americans, of which 37 million are of Mexican origin, most of whom were born in the United States. Puerto Ricans in the 50 states number 5.6 million; Cubans roughly 2.3 million; Central Americans (Guatemalans, Hondurans and Salvadorans) roughly one to two million each; South Americans and others fewer than two million.

“Large numbers of two of these Hispanic groups reside in one state where their votes can swing an election result one way or the other. The state is Florida.”

South Florida Sun Sentinel: “As impeachment hearings start, these Florida voters are unmovable: Trump did nothing wrong” — “Some will watch, some will catch up via Fox News at night, and others will ignore the event entirely. But no matter what comes out at the public impeachment hearings that got underway Wednesday, President Donald Trump’s fervent South Florida supporters say they won’t waiver.

“To them, the impeachment inquiry is a sham — a merit-less attempt by Democrats to damage Trump.

“‘It’s a joke. All they do is make up lies,’ said Robert Korhonen, of Fort Lauderdale, one of about 100 people who attended the monthly Americans for Trump Broward meeting Tuesday night — in a county that’s biggest Democratic stronghold in the state. ‘It’s just a big frigging waste of time and I think most Americans are smart enough to understand what’s going on here.’

“Democrats, Korhonen added, are ‘trying to throw as much crap against him as they can. Trump is not guilty of anything. He hasn’t done anything wrong. They keep throwing crap and trying to trap him in stuff. But he’s innocent. They got nothing. They got nothing.’ ”

The Morning Call: “As impeachment hearings begin, a new poll shows Pennsylvania voters split on whether to remove President Trump” — “On Capitol Hill this morning, House Democrats will begin building their public case for why President Donald Trump should be removed from office as two key witnesses appear in the impeachment inquiry’s first televised hearings.

“They may have difficulty swaying Pennsylvania voters, who are deeply divided and decided on the matter, according to a new Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll.

“State voters surveyed are nearly evenly divided — 51% in support, 47% opposed — over whether they support the impeachment inquiry into Trump’s request that Ukrainian officials investigate the family of former Vice President Joe Biden, and the Trump administration’s withholding of foreign aid dollars to Ukraine.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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