Battleground Bad News: Majority of Pa. voters say impeachment inquiry is justified | Wednesday Morning Coffee

President Donald Trump (Capital-Star file)

Good Wednesday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

President Donald Trump’s headaches in a must-win state multiplied Tuesday, with a new poll showing that a majority of the state’s registered voters believe a rapidly expanding impeachment inquiry spearheaded by Democrats on Capitol Hill has merit.

Fifty-one percent of the 650 registered voters who responded to the poll by FOX-43 TV in York, Pa., said Congress is justified to investigate Trump’s now-infamous July phone conversation with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which Trump pressured the foreign leader to investigate former Veep, and possible 2020 rival, Joe Biden.

The poll’s release Tuesday came the same day the White House blocked Democrats’ efforts to depose a key player in the case, European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland, and as it upped its war of words with Congressional investigators.

Forty-six percent of respondents to the FOX-43 poll, which was jointly conducted with the generally GOP-friendly Susquehanna Polling & Research in Harrisburg, dismissed the inquiry as a political stunt.

The poll, which was conducted from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4, included 307 Democrats, 259 Republicans, and 10 percent independent voters. The latter cohort is considered a critical bloc by the Big Two parties as they try to win American voters’ hearts and minds heading into campaign season.

About two-thirds of respondents (35 percent) identified politically as a moderate, while 200 people (31 percent) said they were conservative. And just 16 percent of respondents said they were liberal. The poll was also 54 percent women, and 46 percent men, FOX-43 reported.

The local result in a state that Trump carried by just 44,000 votes in 2016 mirrored a national poll by Quinnipiac University that was also released Tuesday.

Though the nationwide survey found voters still split on whether Trump should actually be impeached, a majority of voters, 53-43 percent approved of the House’s inquiry.  A week ago, voters responding to a similar poll, approved of the inquiry 52 – 45 percent, Quinnipiac pollsters said.

“Despite a week of blistering partisan exchanges, the sound and fury over whistleblowers and impeachment, the needle hardly moves,” Quinnipiac’s Tim Malloy said in an email. “The country remains closely divided on whether to impeach and remove President Trump from office, and his base remains granite solid.”

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Our Stuff.
On the same day the U.S. Supreme Court heard a trio of cases that could determine whether LGBTQ Americans get anti-discrimination protections, Gov. Tom Wolf called on lawmakers to pass a state-level anti-discrimination law. Sarah Anne Hughes has the story.

And here’s why that long-delayed Pennsylvania law makes economic sense — and is also the moral thing to do.

From our partners at the Philadelphia Tribune, here’s a look at what one Philadelphia school is doing to expand its offerings and improve its relationship with the surrounding community.

On our Commentary Page, opinion regular Bruce Ledewitz says there’s a good reason for Congressional Dems to tap the brakes on impeachment. And a trio of Ohio State University experts go deep on a new report suggesting that there are better ways to address gun violence than by just spending money on mental health programs.

MEDICAID GRAPHIC
(Photo via Flickr Commons)

Elsewhere.
Pennsylvania says it expects to save $85 million through Medicaid changesThe Inquirer explains what that will look like.
This Oct. 27 — and every one after that — will be ‘Remember, Repair Together’ Day in Pittsburgh, in honor of the Tree of Life victims, the Post-Gazette reports.
Central Pennsylvania is on pace to exceed its homicide total compared to last year, PennLive reports.
The Morning Call goes deep on how the Allentown Diocese sheltered its $300 million in real estate as it compensated abuse victims.
The Intercept explains how Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office tried to push The Inquirer to be more critical in its coverage of District Attorney Larry Krasner.

Here’s your #Philadelphia Instagram of the Day:

Philly is considering a new preservation fund for people who own historic homesWHYY-FM reports.
The ACLU says Lebanon County’s medical marijuana policy violates state law, the PA Post reports.
Stateline.org explains how one Washington State town is preparing for climate change.
When it comes to impeachment, the Trump administration is ‘burning down the House,’ Axios reports.
The White House is also telling House Dems that their inquiry ‘violates the Constitution,’ Roll Call reports.

What Goes On.
10 a.m., House Democratic Policy Committee: 
Public Hearing with Rep. Jake Wheatley, Jr. on adverse childhood experiences. Propel Northside Community Wellness Center, Pittsburgh.
1 p.m., Media Center: Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller talks about the expansion of a home visiting program aimed at helping new parents and their babies.

What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition).
State Superior Court candidate Christylee Peck holds a 5:30 p.m. reception at mega-lobbying firm Greenlee Partners on State Street in Harrisburg. Admission runs $250 to $1,000. The argument for not electing judges because of events like this? Priceless.

WolfWatch.
Gov. Tom Wolf 
has no public schedule today.

You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept.
Best wishes go out this morning to our former PennLive colleague, Christine Vendel, who celebrates today. Congrats and enjoy the day.

Heavy Rotation.
Here’s a very chill jam to get your Wednesday morning rolling: From NOIA, it’s ‘Capricho de Seda.’

Wednesday’s Gratuitous Hockey Link.
Carolina skated to a 6-3 win over Florida on Tuesday night. The ‘Canes are 4-0 as the new season gets underway, matching their best start in the franchise’s history

And now you’re up to date.

An award-winning political journalist with more than 25 years' experience in the news business, John L. Micek is The Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. Before joining The Capital-Star, Micek spent six years as Opinion Editor at PennLive/The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., where he helped shape and lead a multiple-award-winning Opinion section for one of Pennsylvania's most-visited news websites. Prior to that, he spent 13 years covering Pennsylvania government and politics for The Morning Call of Allentown, Pa. His career has also included stints covering Congress, Chicago City Hall and more municipal meetings than he could ever count, Micek contributes regular analysis and commentary to a host of broadcast outlets, including CTV-News in Canada and talkRadio in London, U.K., as well as "Face the State" on CBS-21 in Harrisburg, Pa.; "Pennsylvania Newsmakers" on WGAL-8 in Lancaster, Pa., and the Pennsylvania Cable Network. His weekly column on American politics is syndicated nationwide to more than 800 newspapers by Cagle Syndicate.

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