Impeachment Is Not the Only Issue

Voters are thinking about health care and the economy.

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Last week, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry after a whistleblower complaint alleging presidential abuse of power came to light. The complaint asserts President Trump withheld military assistance to Ukraine to pressure the country’s president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. The complaint and impeachment inquiry dominated the news last week. But as pundits and pollsters assess how impeachment proceedings will influence voters, Predata signals show that the American online public is highly focused on health care and economic issues such as wages, taxes, and housing.

That is not to say that the announcement of a formal impeachment inquiry did not resonate across the internet. A Predata index that captures online attention to Trump Administration controversies and the possibility of impeachment rose last week. But it did not hit an exceptionally high level relative to past developments in the U.S. Special Counsel investigation.

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Meanwhile, online attention has been especially concentrated on several issues that are likely to be salient in the 2020 election. First, online interest in U.S. health care policy rose to its highest level of the year and continues to climb. 

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Several issues related to the economy are also front and center for the online public. Web activity related to several subjects hit year highs. These included wages and income inequality...

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Tax policy...

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And mortgages, which also may reflect interest in the housing market and homeownership. 

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So although the impeachment inquiry is sucking up all the oxygen in the American political discourse, bread and butter issues appear to be on the minds of voters.