On Wednesday, many Americans will be glued to their screens to watch the first public hearings in the Donald Trump impeachment probe. Others will pick up snippets of it later, whether from talk radio, podcasts or the cold opening of “Saturday Night Live.”
The question everyone is asking is, “Will it matter?” Given that, as of this week, 49 percent of Americans support the impeachment process and 46 percent don’t, and that these numbers have mostly hovered around these split percentages for months, will public testimony significantly change the game?
Psychological research on when and whether attitudes change suggests no … well, maybe … and yes. It’s complicated, but it’s clear that the questions members of Congress ask in the upcoming impeachment hearings, how they ask them and the responses they elicit from witnesses can have at least some effect on the level of political will for impeachment and for Trump’s reelection—and on the future of our union.