No Labels Blog
No Labels Weekly Talking Points June 10-14
By Emma Petasis
June 14, 2019 | Blog
These are some of the talking points No Labels is sending to members this week.
- Be wary of misleading data regarding support for impeachment.
- Some recent polls may be exaggerating Democratic voters’ support for impeaching President Trump. This could complicate Nancy Pelosi’s efforts to hold down impeachment fever.
- It’s important to note a poll’s exact wording to determine its value. For instance, a recent CNN poll generated headlines by saying 76 percent of America’s Democrats favor impeachment. But a Marist/NPR/PBS poll concluded that only 36 percent of Democrats favor impeachment.
- The big difference stems from how the questions were phrased. The Marist/NPR/PBS poll (https://www.npr.org/2019/06/08/730697885/poll-support-for-impeachment-hearings-grows-but-americans-split-on-way-forward) asked people if they thought Congress’s reaction to the Mueller report should be to “start impeachment proceedings against President Trump.”
- By contrast, the CNN poll (https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/02/politics/trump-impeachment-mueller-testify-cnn-poll/index.html) asked: “Based on what you have read or heard, do you believe that President Trump should be impeached and removed from office?” (emphasis added). Those are two very different things.
- People who strongly dislike Trump are likely to jump at any chance to say he should be “removed from office.” But many people do not know the current Republican-controlled Senate would not convict and remove Trump even if the House impeached him. In fact, the Senate vote wouldn’t come close to the required two-thirds majority.
- Trump could use a Senate acquittal to claim “vindication” and “witch hunt” in his 2020 re-election campaign. Pelosi knows this, which is why she’s trying to quell impeachment talk.
- A more telling and useful poll would have asked something like: “Would you favor the House impeaching Trump even if it’s highly likely the Senate would acquit him, and he’d remain in office”?
Bottom line: Thus far, most House Democrats are sticking with Pelosi. But headlines from polls such as CNN’s serve to muddy the waters, confuse the public, and complicate her efforts.
2.DEBATE OVER RARE-EARTH METALS MAY BECOME LESS RARE.
- Keep an eye out for a possible rise in concerns about “rare-earth metals.”These are raw materials used in all kinds of high-tech products, including smartphones and lasers. China dominates the world market, and some experts worry that China could use its position to pressure the United States and other nations in trade negotiations.
- The Commerce Department just released a report saying the U.S. is “heavily dependent on critical mineral imports. If China or Russia were to stop exports to the United States and its allies for a prolonged period — similar to China’s rare earths embargo in 2010 — an extended supply disruption could cause significant shocks throughout U.S. and foreign critical mineral supply chains.”
- Among the outlets writing about this issue lately are Bloomberg News (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-05/rare-earths-battle-looms-as-u-s-aims-to-counter-china-threat) and the Washington Post (https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/2019/06/07/80a06794-8649-11e9-a491-25df61c78dc4_story.html?utm_term=.cb0d7131c28f).
Bottom line: This is something to keep an eye on.