The impeachment approved by the House of Representatives is considered a seismic event in US politics by the media and the implications for the upcoming 2020 presidential elections are still not fully understood - nor will they likely be until after the contest is over.
But one thing is certain: Impeachment is not weakening Trump’s support among his base and this should be concerning for Democrats who have a massive field of candidates and no clear frontrunner as of press.
Could impeachment imperil Democrats’ chances at retaking the presidency?
It would seem that many signs point to “Yes” and we’ll explain those in this article.
First, the mystery as to why impeachment could help Trump can be readily dispelled by the fact that, even while historically unpopular, it is unlikely that any candidate on the Republican side is going to rise up and challenge the president in any meaningful way.
When you have a two-party system like that of the United States, it almost doesn’t matter how horrible the alternative choice is - there is a fifty percent chance of winning based on the odds of competition alone.
Naturally, this becomes more complex when you factor in voting and local constituencies.
While, on the whole, people disapprove of Trump this is not necessarily correlating with them not voting for him.
Partisan feelings on the Republican side are strong and many analysts think that Trump’s strength with his base will be more than enough to propel him forward to the election.
Whether he wins or not, this means that he is going into the contest with a well-oiled fundraising and get-out-the-vote machine.
Democrats, meanwhile, are still deciding upon their candidate and impeachment proceedings would require the presence of not one but two prominent Democrats who would then have to take time off of the campaign trail, in my opinion those would be; Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
This kind of structural impediment to success cannot be denied. While Warren and Sanders are in the Senate for a trial, Trump’s campaign could move forward - sans Trump, even - and probably do just as well.
It isn’t like the populace doesn’t know who he is or what he stands for politically.
In other words, Trump is largely a known quantity and the time that Warren or Sanders could spend fundraising and building rapport would be sapped away by a Senate trial that looks like a foregone conclusion.
There are arguments to be made that Sanders and Biden are more well-known quantities in the nomination struggle and thus Sanders might not be as negatively impacted by a Senate trial for Trump as Warren would be.
Further, Sanders’ fundraising prowess and equally dedicated voter-based promise to challenge Trump’s every front...if they can win the nomination.
Lastly, the final challenge for Democrats can be found in both justifying their proposals as well as undermining Trump without reference to the various webs of conspiracy likely to be dreamt up during the contest.
Keeping the discussion grounded in how chaotic the past four years have been will provide Democrats with far more dividends in electoral contests than allowing Trump to dictate the conversation and make it about impeachment and vague notions of ill-will and partisan politics. However, a great strategy for the Democrats could be telling the nation how their policies and platform could better America in an already strong economy.