Why Impeachment Talk Is a Wedge Driving the G.O.P. Apart (The New York Times)


In an Upshot blog for The New York Times, Dartmouth’s Brendan Nyhan says the Republican calls to impeach President Obama are creating a “wedge issue” that helps Democrats.

“A useful definition of a wedge issue is one that unifies a party while splitting the opposition,” writes Nyhan. “By that definition, Republican calls to impeach President Obama look like a wedge issue—in favor of Democrats.” As Nyhan points out, a recent CNN poll shows that 65 percent of Americans oppose impeaching Obama.

“Given those numbers, no one should be surprised that Democrats are playing up the possibility of impeachment. It motivates their base, helps to raise money and draws attention to an issue where the public is on their side. In contrast, Republicans are deeply split on the issue—a divide that is playing out publicly among both legislators and conservative pundits.”

Read the full opinion piece, published 7/30/14 by The New York Times.

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