Apathy, anger, relief: How volunteers are processing the end of Mueller
Wolf survived the 2016 shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, where 49 people were killed and 53 wounded, and tragedy that he said he changed his political involvement from "engaged but not active" to "active and passionate."
Now, however, with Mueller's probe finished and Washington debating the next steps, Wolf is ready for lawmakers to focus on things he believes will impact the day-to-day lives of Americans more directly
"I'm like many Americans believe that the ultimate result of the report does not affect me as much as the crippling cost of healthcare or paying back student loans, "said Wolf. "I would love to see my elected officials and the Democratic Party really turn their focus to a policy frame of mind and talk about how we're going to move the country forward."
In interviews with more than 50 Democrats, Independents and Republicans in five states across the country this week, one clear theme emerged: There is an unanimous exhaustion with Russia's investigation and a strong desire for lawmakers to get back to work on bread-and-butter issues.
While nearly every voter CNN talked to say they want the full Mueller report to be released, among the most striking conclusions was how little the probe changed their opinion of Trump ̵
1; a fact borne out by a recent CNN poll that found only 13 % of voters said Mueller's findings would sway their 2020 vote.
Of those, 7% said they are now more apt to back the President, while 6% said they are now less likely to do so. A combined 86% said they had already figured out whether they would vote for or against Trump, or that the investigation will not matter even though they are undecided now.
These dynamics present problems for Democrats hellbent on ousting Trump from office . Wolf, like other Democrats who spoke to CNN, who cares about what is in the Mueller report and supported the investigation. But Wolf said that he "breathed a sigh of relief" when he learned the probe was over and was not going to "hang over 2020 in the way I thought it was going to."
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Democrats and liberals now have to face a difficult truth: The inquiry that consumed so much of Washington for the better part of two years ended, and which many Democrats hoped would bring down the
For Amo, a self-described liberal independent, the result has caused him to examine his own motivations. "I would prefer that Trump is not our president, but I just do not think it is constructive to want this investigation to prove his guilt just because we despise him or have a victory over the Republicans," he said. "It's the tension that I have: What are my motives?"
Many voters CNN interviewed have political priorities more
"Gun control and gun law reform," Rebecca Arthur, a mother of one from Westminster, Colorado, said when asked about issues she would vote in 2020. "Because I have a child coming through school "
Where Democrats Go From Here
was a persistent disconnect between the focus being paid to ongoing Russian investigations on Capitol Hill and on cable television, and what voters said
At the meeting hall in the country a year ago, as Democrats looked to take back some semblance of control in Washington, questions focused on pocket book issues – health care, retirement and jobs. Even in races with overtones of Russia – like in Democrat Harley Rouda's eventually successful bid to oust the California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and man known as "Putin's Favorite Congressman" are unlikely to hinge on Russia – the Mueller probe was a secondary concern.
That has continued into the early stages of the 2020 presidential race. The topic of Russia or the Mueller investigation is rarely among the questions voters tend to ask more than a dozen Democrats running for president.
"We're all focusing on making sure we're talking about real issues that are actually facing the everyday American," said Chris Walton, chairman of the Milwaukee County Democratic Party. "
He added:" We've got bigger issues to fry, and all of them culminate in November of 2020. "
This gap was readily apparent as the Littleton Running and Hiking Club gathered around the laquered tables at the Coal Mine Ave Brewing this weekend in the suburbs south of Denver. After a run in the unseasonably warm March weather with about a dozen friends, group founder Ross Villeneuve, his girlfriend Anne Marie Cernera and Ross' father, Wayne – all supporters of Democrats – lamented that more had not been found on Trump. 19659004] "It makes me more excited" for 2020, said Ross Villeneuve over a pint of beer. "I think people will be a little bit more charged because we are the ones who can change it now, we are the next fight. Trump) the old-fashioned way. "
Cernera did not entirely agree. She "whole-heartedly" dreads 2020, she said, because she believes Trump "actually has a shot again," and fact she described as "bat s – t crazy."
that there are more pressing issues than Russia in 2020.
"In a vacuum, not at all," Cernera said when asked how often she would like her eventual nominee 2020 to talk about Russia, "because I think people are convinced "
Brett Butler, a 31-year-old Democrat and program manager at a non-profit education in suburban Denver, worries that if Democrats spend too much time on Mueller, it could play in Trump's hands. "It might actually help him if we keep focusing on the investigation," said Butler. "The people do not care."
That's a lesson that some of the newest members of the House learned last year, when Democrats swept into the majority in the legislature by focusing on other issues, direct acknowledgment that Russia was not a motivating issue.
Rep. Jason Crow, and a military veteran who successfully ousted a Republican lawmaker from a Suburban Denver district in 2018, is one of those young lawmakers
"The American people and the folks in my district, they do not want more drama in their politics and with the leaders in Washington than they already have in their everyday lives, "Crow said. "People are dealing with a lot and there is a tiredness around the constant fighting, the divisiveness."
While Crow said Democrats on the Hill should continue to demand the report and provide oversight, his advice to Democrats like himself who are running in 2020 is "continue to focus on those other issues"
Trust in Mueller, antipathy for trump, frustration with Washington
Those voters – both Democrats and Republicans – with a glaring
In McAllen, Texas, and a city of over 140,000 people near the mouth of the Rio Grande, this issue is immigration along the US-Mexico border. While many in Washington, including Trump, talk about the issue regularly, for men and women in this small Texas city, immigration and a possible frontier wall show up in their everyday lives, while the Mueller's probe is more ephemeral