Five observations on the politics of impeachment

Five observations on the politics of impeachment

[Ed. – Prefatory reading]

Our previous impeachments shed little light on this one. It’s generally unwise to make confident predictions without a relatively large data set to draw upon. Here, we have only had four examples of serious impeachment proceedings.

The first two – John Tyler and Andrew Johnson – do not help us understand our present politics. …

The other two examples are more relevant, but in both cases it is nearly impossible to isolate the specifics of impeachment from the broader political context.

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The polls are difficult to interpret. Polling since the impeachment inquiry was announced has shown an uptick in support for impeachment, in some cases dramatically so. This is not entirely surprising. A hefty amount of political science literature, most notably by John Zaller, has demonstrated the way in which public opinion is formed by elite cues.

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