What do Democrats want?
Before the first publicized hearing from the House Jan. 6 committee last month, the New York Times explained that Democrats hoped to "refocus voters' attention on Jan. 6" to hurt Republicans by connecting the GOP "to an unprecedented plot to undermine democracy itself."
The Times reported:
With their control of Congress hanging in the balance, Democrats plan to use made-for-television moments and a carefully choreographed rollout of revelations over the course of six hearings to remind the public of the magnitude of Mr. Trump’s effort to overturn the election, and to persuade voters that the coming midterm elections are a chance to hold Republicans accountable for it.
But what does the data show?
CNN senior data reporter Harry Enten told CNN anchor Jake Tapper on Monday the hearings are not moving the needle in Democrats' favor ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
"We've talked before about the poor polling for Democrats heading into this year's midterm elections. Have these hearings changed that outlook at all?" Tapper asked.
"Not really. No," Enten replied.
"Look, before the hearings began — they began on June 9 — on June 8, my average of the polls, the generic ballot had Republicans +3 points. Now, where is it? Republicans +2 points," he explained. "You could make the argument that maybe there was a slight change, but the fact is, there's so much news going on, this is not much of a change — at all."
The reason the hearings are not making a difference, Enten explained, is because Americans simply are not concerned about them as they continue to face sky-high inflation and gas prices.
"What is the top issue for Americans at this point, and who is trusted on that? The top issue for Americans at this point is not the Jan 6 committee hearings," Enten said. "It is not Donald Trump, it's inflation, according to 33% of Americans — that is the top issue.
"And who is trusted more on the issue of inflation? The margin right here is absolutely huge: Republicans are trusted over Democrats by 19 points," he continued. "And that is why at this particular point, Republicans still lead on that generic congressional ballot."