As Polls Show Growing Support For Impeachment Inquiry, Texas Republicans Face A Difficult Choice

A Republican political consultant advises candidates and lawmakers to take a wait-and-see approach. But he also admires John Cornyn’s choice to defend the president.

By Rhonda Fanning & Jill AmentOctober 10, 2019 6:47 am

Impeachment fever is rising in Washington: a new Fox News poll showed 51% of voters want President Donald Trump impeached and removed from office. A Quinnipiac poll out Tuesday showed that 53% of people supported the impeachment inquiry, and 45% felt that the president should be impeached and removed from office.

The White House, however, is not cooperating with the inquiry, which puts Republican members of Congress – including those from Texas – in the awkward position of having to decide whether to defend or distance themselves from the president. 

Brendan Steinhauser is a Republican political consultant based in Austin, and says that so far, mostly Democrats and independent voters have expressed support for an impeachment inquiry.

“If we start to see more Republicans moving in that direction, that could spell trouble for the GOP,” Steinhauser says.

Though individual polls aren’t a good indicator of how the public at large feels, Steinhauser says looking at patterns among several polls gives a more reliable snapshot of public sentiment. 

“[In] the Beto O’Rourke-Ted Cruz Senate race in 2018, we started to see polls, one after the other, show a tightening race, poll by poll,” Steinhauser says. “So, looking backward, you can say, OK, the trend is moving in that direction.”

Steinhauser doesn’t think Republican congressional candidates should take a strong stand on impeachment right now, but should say, “We want to go where the facts go, we want to listen to the evidence, we want to see what comes out,” he says.

Sen. John Cornyn, who is headed for a tough reelection fight in 2020 has stuck by the president so far. Steinhauser says he respects Cornyn’s choice to take that position.

“I think that politically speaking, a wait-and-see approach would probably be the one that I would recommend, but I have a lot of respect for just going out there and making his case, regardless of where the chips fall, politically,” Steinhauser says.


Written by Shelly Brisbin.