Iowans aren’t buying Joni Ernst’s defense of her vote to acquit Donald Trump in the Senate.
A new poll put out today shows 58% of Iowans believe that Ernst “voted with [her] party and wanted to protect Trump politically.” The other 42% agreed with the statement that Ernst “thought Trump did not commit an impeachable offense.”
The survey was conducted by Garin Hart Yang Research Group and commissioned by Senate Majority PAC, the super PAC focused on electing Democrats to the U.S. Senate. They conducted 428 interviews in Iowa over the dates of Feb. 4 to 10.
They polled five states with top Republican incumbent targets: Arizona (Martha McSally), Colorado (Cory Gardner), Iowa, Maine (Susan Collins) and North Carolina (Thom Tillis). Ernst’s numbers were right in line with other states. Gardner had 60% of his voters saying his vote was for political protection; 56% of McSally and Collins’ constituents felt the same way.
“The perception that these senators put party politics and Trump’s interests over principle is likely to affect the way voters assess their conduct on other issues,” wrote Geoff Garin in the polling memo.
Ernst was one of 52 Republican senators who voted to acquit Trump on the charges of abuse of power, while fellow Republican Mitt Romney backed removal on that measure in the bipartisan vote.
“The arguments of the House Managers simply did not demonstrate that the President’s actions rise to an impeachable offense,” Ernst said in her Senate speech explaining her vote. “Given the constitutional requirements, voting any other way on these articles would remove the ability of the American people to make their own decision at the ballot box in November.”
Ernst didn’t garner too much publicity for her vote, taken in the midst of the continuing Iowa Caucus fallout. But she drew plenty of negative headlines in the lead-up to impeachment, as she gleefully reveled in the political fallout the trial could cause Joe Biden in the caucus. She also voted against allowing any more witnesses at the trial.
by Pat Rynard