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Impeachment On Minds of N.H. Voters As 2020 Candidates Vie For Attention

Sarah Gibson / NHPR
Elizabeth Warren campaigned in Keene, N.H., on Wednesday.

As Congressional Democrats launch an impeachment inquiry into President Trump, many presidential candidates are voicing their support. But impeachment, so far, is getting mixed reactions from Democratic voters in New Hampshire.

NHPR’s Sarah Gibson caught up with a few at a campaign stop last night for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Speaking to voters in Keene, Warren cut to the chase, saying she’s been calling for Trump’s impeachment since the Mueller report came out in April.

"If Congress does not hold this man accountable, then he will break the law again and again and again - it is time for impeachment now," she said.

But while many in the crowd shared Warren's conviction, some expressed concern over the timing and implications of a full-blown impeachment push.

"If he's impeached, who's next in office would also concern me," said Honesty Johnson, a junior at Keene State College.

She said she’s fed up with Trump, but she's more worried about Vice President Mike Pence taking over.

"I think that Trump is not as bad as his vice," Johnson said.

Joshua Seamans says impeachment will likely flounder in the Senate, where Republicans hold the majority. "Morally and ethically, it's what needs to happen," he says. "Practically, it's not going to happen and it's going to be the biggest issue the Republicans are going to make throughout the entire election process."

Standing in a line of people awaiting selfies with Warren after the rally, Allison Blouin also predicted the effort would fail in the Senate. She also doesn’t think it’ll win over any Trump supporters in the 2020 election.

"I do not think the issue is going to be the thing making Republicans go, 'Ooh, maybe this isn't our guy.' Because there's been so many giant red flags where they've been like, 'eh, it could be worse,' " Blouin said.

But Blouin and several others in Keene said that, even if it’s not a political win, they’re still glad the impeachment inquiry is underway.

Further down the selfie line, Stephen Lucey said he read the memorandum of Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president, which a federal whistleblower flagged to intelligence officials. Lucey wants the inquiry to stay targeted on that. Lucey said he wasn’t sure if impeachment was going to happen, after so many allegations of wrongdoing by Trump.

"It’s always been: 'He’s going down. He’s going down.' And it never happens," Lucey said. "And it’s interesting what breaks the camel’s back, you know?"

It may break the camel’s back – but it didn’t get much attention during Warren’s stump speech. After speaking about impeachment for a few minutes, she moved on, and spent the next hour talking about health care, political corruption and other issues.

Sarah Gibson joined NHPR's newsroom in 2018. She reports on education and demographics.

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