Polling Shows Growing Support For Trump’s Impeachment And Removal

New polling is showing increased public support for President Trump's impeachment and removal

Another new poll finds that a majority of Americans say that they support the impeachment and removed of President Trump, a remarkable shift in public opinion over the course of just about one month:

Half of Americans say President Donald Trump should be impeached and removed from office, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS, a new high in CNN polling on the topic and the first time that support for impeachment and removal has significantly outpaced opposition.

As support for impeachment has inched upward, however, Trump’s approval ratings overall and for handling major issues have not taken a hit. Overall, 41% approve of his handling of the presidency and 57% disapprove, similar to his ratings in early September and August polls conducted before the House of Representatives formally launched an impeachment inquiry in late September.

The share who say Trump used his office improperly to gain political advantage against a potential 2020 opponent in his interactions with the President of Ukraine stands at 49%, about the same as in the September CNN poll. At the same time, more now say Trump did not use the presidency improperly (43%, up from 39%), as the share who are undecided on the question dipped. That shift was largely driven by a 16-point increase in the share of Republicans who say Trump didn’t improperly use the presidency (from 71% to 87%).

Overall, 50% say the things that Trump has said publicly about his handling of US relations with Ukraine are mostly false. Fewer, 44%, think the President is mostly telling the truth about it, with views sharply divided by party (86% of Republicans say his public statements on it have been mostly true, while 83% of Democrats say mostly false).

Support for impeachment and removal is strongest among Democrats (87% favor it) and stands at 50% among independents. Among Republicans, just 6% say they support impeaching and removing the Republican President, lower than the 14% who said so in a September CNN poll. While a handful of other polls also have found support for impeachment in double digits among Republicans, most have found Republican support closer to the level in the new CNN poll than the September one.

Beyond partisanship, demographic dividing lines on impeachment seem to mirror those that have driven Trump’s approval rating throughout his presidency. Women (56%) are more apt than men (44%) to favor impeachment and removal. Nonwhites (68%) support it in greater numbers than whites (40%), and whites are split by education (51% with college degrees back impeachment and removal vs. 35% of those without degrees) and further by gender (26% of white men without college degrees favor impeachment and removal, but that more than doubles to 54% among white women who hold four-year degrees).

The poll finds that Americans overall are entrenched in their views on each side of the impeachment debate. Among those who say Trump should be impeached and removed, 90% say they feel that way strongly, as do 86% of those who say he should not be impeached and removed.

This follows on a poll last week from Gallup that found similar numbers, as well as a Pew Research Center poll, This is just the latest change in what has beccome a dramatic shift in public opinion on the impeachment issue.

For the better part of the year, as we’ve awaited the conclusion of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference and potential collusion and thereafter, the American public had largely opposed the impeachment of the President or even opening an impeachment investigation. With the exception of self-identified Democrats, most Americans apparently did not believe that there was sufficient evidence to support taking such an extraordinary Constitutional step.

For the better part of the year, as we’ve awaited the conclusion of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference and potential collusion and thereafter, the American public had largely opposed the impeachment of the President or even opening an impeachment investigation. With the exception of self-identified Democrats, most Americans apparently did not believe that there was sufficient evidence to support taking such an extraordinary Constitutional step.

That began to change after the news broke regarding the President’s efforts to enlist the assistance of the President of Ukraine to uncover damaging information about a potential political rival and the events that have occurred since then that have only made the President look worse. By the end of September, a number of polls that had previously shown public opposition to impeachment began to show that at least a plurality of respondents supported opening an impeachment inquiry. At the beginning of October, a new Washington Post/Schar School poll shows for the first time that a majority of Americans support not just impeachment but, if the evidence supports it, removal of the President from office

That began to change after the news broke regarding the President’s efforts to enlist the assistance of the President of Ukraine to uncover damaging information about a potential political rival and the events that have occurred since then that have only made the President look worse. As I noted a week ago, a number of polls that had previously shown public opposition to impeachment began to show that at least a plurality of respondents supported opening an impeachment inquiry. Earlier this month, a Washington Post/Schar School poll showed for the first time that a majority of Americans support not just impeachment but, if the evidence supports it, removal of the President from office.

As Philip Bump notes at The Washington Post, the fact that we’ve reached this milestone this quickly is significant in no small part because we didn’t see numbers like this for President Nixon until shortly before he was forced to resign in the wake of an inevitable impeachment and trial that would result in his removal from office.

All of this is significant for several reasons. First of all, of course, is the simple fact that we are at or near the point where a majority of Americans support at least an impeachment inquiry directed at the President of the United States. This is significant because we didn’t reach this point with Nixon until well into the Watergate investigation and that Nixon continued to enjoy high levels of support right up until the Supreme Court ordered the Oval Office tapes released and the public heard for themselves what the President said behind the scenes. At that point, there could be no denying his guilt.

This time, the shift has occurred over a short period of time, and we’ve reached the point where a majority of Americans are willing to contemplate impeachment and a plurality are willing to contemplate removal from office. his shift has occurred over a short amount of time, which is notable in and of itself. The best explanation for this, I suppose is the fact that the current story about Trump’s pressure on the Ukrainian investigation is far easier to understand than the Russia investigation and appears on the surface to be far more serious than the Emoluments Clause and porn star payoff stories. Indeed, as I’ve noted before, the main documents in this case — the transcript of the Trump-Zelensky phone call, the whistleblower’s complaint, and the Inspector General’s report, — amount to just about 21 pages and are fairly easy to read notwithstanding the fact that there still seem to be Republicans in Congress who have not gotten around to it. Additionally, notwithstanding the efforts of the Administration and its supporters to argue otherwise, the evidence is blindingly clear hear.

Given the fact that Republicans are remaining loyal to the President in huge numbers, it’s not likely we’ll see these numbers jump much higher unless and until Republicans start putting their country first and their party second.

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, Impeachment, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. CSK says:

    This morning on Twitter Trump raved that the impeachment is a “lynching.”

    Yup, he used that word.

    ReplyReply
  2. SenyorDave says:

    @CSK: It might be a family thing. Maybe Fred Trump had first hand experience with lynchings.

    ReplyReply
  3. Kathy says:

    Now, you see, this is the kind of good news Dennison ought to be bragging about every day.

    ReplyReply
  4. DrDaveT says:

    Among those who say Trump should be impeached and removed, 90% say they feel that way strongly, as do 86% of those who say he should not be impeached and removed.

    This factoid cuts against the narrative that support for impeachment is increasing rapidly. I think that what has actually happened is that the question has quickly reached maximum polarization, accelerated by the modern media environment. It looks like the ceiling for impeachment support is not much above the current support.

    Of course, popular support for/against shouldn’t matter at all in the deliberations of the wise elders of the Senate, who [insert terminal coughing fit here].

    ReplyReply
  5. CSK says:

    @SenyorDave: Indeed. Clearly it’s genetic.

    ReplyReply
  6. Michael Reynolds says:

    @DrDaveT:

    This factoid cuts against the narrative that support for impeachment is increasing rapidly.

    I agree. What’s changed is that the question has been placed squarely on the table so people are no longer reacting to speculation, but to actual events.

    That said, I don’t think we are quite at a ceiling. My guess (and that’s all it is, so grain of salt) is that once we get to public hearings we’ll see something like 58/38 on the approval number basically the same on impeach and remove.

    The important thing for me is to see that Trump’s floor is also his ceiling: he won’t be gaining support. And his floor will get a bit spongy going forward. The intensity will lessen on the Trumpie side without flagging on our side.

    It would be great to have the Senate vote after primary filing deadlines, but as you can see here, that’s a stretch. Still, TX, OH, NC will close primary applications before the end of the year. This is one reason McConnell will push hard to get the trial done and dusted while the threat of a primary from the right still looms.

    We may get a couple of GOP senators for a tie or a small margin for conviction. Trump will spin it as a win, but it won’t be seen that way. If he doesn’t do the smart thing and flee, he’ll stagger to 2020 with high 30’s support and quite possibly give us the senate as his discouraged followers stay home.

    ReplyReply
  7. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    The only polling that matters is with Republican Senators.
    There’s a lot of talk that if an anonymous vote were held today, Pence would be President tomorrow.
    But as long as names are attributed to the votes, Trump is safe.
    I hold little hope of de-programming the cult#45 members…so we are probably still going to be beholden to 70,000 nut jobs in WI, PA, and MI.

    “…unless and until Republicans start putting their country first and their party second.”

    That’s funny….

    ReplyReply
  8. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    We may get a couple of GOP senators for a tie or a small margin for conviction. Trump will spin it as a win, but it won’t be seen that way. If he doesn’t do the smart thing and flee, he’ll stagger to 2020 with high 30’s support and quite possibly give us the senate as his discouraged followers stay home.

    I hope he spins it as a win, if he’s not removed. Trump is his own worst enemy (we’re number 2, so we try harder). He’ll figure he’s been impeached and acquitted, and decide to go on full corruption while the getting’s good, especially if he thinks he won’t be reelected.

    After all, it’s not as though he can be impeached again, is it?

    ReplyReply
  9. charon says:

    @Kathy:

    After all, it’s not as though he can be impeached again, is it?

    Technically he can.

    ReplyReply
  10. Kathy says:

    @charon:

    I’m sorry. usually my irony is clearer than that.

    If Dennison wins a second term, and the Democrats keep the House, it’s very likely he’ll be impeached at least twice.

    ReplyReply
  11. CSK says:

    According to the WaPo, A Warning, a book by the anonymous author of the Sept. 2018 NYT editorial about the insane shambles of the Trump administration, will be published next month. Tell-all.

    Some commenters at the WaPo are suggesting that “Anonymous” might be Kellyanne Conway, which would explain why George hasn’t left her yet.

    ReplyReply
  12. Modulo Myself says:

    I suspect the spread between Trump’s approval and impeachment has nothing to do with guilt or innocence. Unless you are completely deluded it’s obvious he used the Presidency to try to force the Ukraine at the very least to smear Joe Biden. I don’t know anybody who has voted for Trump…but I suspect there are people out there who for personal reasons just want a normal way out for the Trump cultists in their lives. It’s never ever going to happen. But I get why someone would want that rather than impeachment which is going to push them farther to the point of some incomprehensible rage-out denouement.

    ReplyReply
  13. JohnSF says:

    This looks significant: testimony to Congress of former Ambassador to Ukraine William B. Taylor.
    How can anyone read or hear that and not think there are grounds for impeachment?

    ReplyReply
  14. DrDaveT says:

    @JohnSF:

    How can anyone read or hear that and not think there are grounds for impeachment?

    La la la la, I can’t hear you.

    ReplyReply
    13
  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JohnSF: It’s easy if you are a member of Cult45, IOKYAR covers all the bases. Anything to own the Libtards.

    ReplyReply
  16. Steve V says:

    @JohnSF: You’ll see some fascinating and depressing examples on Twitter of how a significant number of people can think that.

    ReplyReply
  17. Kathy says:

    @JohnSF:

    You distort facts, tell lies, tell half-truths, ignore inconvenient facts in your propaganda, and remember that it’s wrong only if the other party does it.

    For instance, the testimony you cite was given “behind closed doors,” and the Democrats cherry-picked leaks.

    All this may be true. but it ignores the fat that Republican Congressmen were in on the hearing (and that House committees always include both parties), and they didn’t leak any exculpatory evidence (probably because there is none).

    ReplyReply
  18. Jax says:

    @Kathy: That does seem to be the SOP for the Trumpies I know personally. They’re pissed there hasn’t been an impeachment vote yet, therefore the whole damn thing is illegitimate. Apparently they want a vote without any of the House members seeing the evidence?!

    Oh, right, cuz then it gets kicked to the Senate with not as much evidence, and Mitch McConnell can consign it to the dustbin of history.

    ReplyReply
  19. Chip Daniels says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    The only polling that matters is with Republican Senators.

    True, but maybe a better phrasing is that the only polling that matters are the swing voters in the states where GOP Senators are facing election.

    Amy McGrath in Kentucky for example, is nearly even with Mitch MConnell. If impeachment starts to pull him down, he will jettison Trump like an anchor without a moment’s hesitation.

    ReplyReply
  20. de stijl says:

    Support for for Trump will remain near absolute. Unless more information came out like it did today.

    It is brittle support. Absolute until it collapses. Think metal fatigue.

    Nixon had more support three weeks before his resignation than Trump has now.

    ReplyReply
  21. Teve says:
  22. de stijl says:

    Trump’s congressional support is like Nixon’s.

    Super solid. Then new evidence. Solid support. New new evidence. Semi-solid. New new new evidence. Collapses, completely capitulates.

    No one wants to be the last ally of a corrupt wanna-be failed moron.

    We’re at the semi-solid support phase.

    No aware person will sacrifice their career for Trump if this experiment in “narcisistic billionaire populism” sours completely. Some all-in idiots will. Careerists will choose to preserve their own hides as best they can.

    ReplyReply
  23. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    Impeachment is not going to make Trump more popular, it’s the opposite. In fact, as I argued, impeachments make Presidents less, not more popular, and that’s the biggest risk that Democrats take by impeaching Trump.
    (Impeachment eroded Bill Clinton’s personal approval, and it was enormously successful).

    ReplyReply
  24. MarkedMan says:

    @de stijl:

    No one wants to be the last ally of a corrupt wanna-be failed moron

    Oh, I don’t know. We have a few posters here that seem to be vying for that position…

    ReplyReply
  25. de stijl says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Commentators – they’re useful and utterly disposable idiots. I was talking about congress.

    Congress-critters have staff to remind them they need to be re-elected to keep the money flowing and the “power” accumulating.

    They can support a bad idea or person only so far. If the polls / zeitgeist oppose that, they will fold. And then try to weasel their way out from under as per their skill level at dissemination and distraction allows.

    Some will weasel out; some will fail.

    ReplyReply
  26. Chip Daniels says:

    @de stijl:
    Its worse than Nixon.
    Nixon had allies, friends, a constituency that was loyal to him, right to the end.

    No one anywhere is loyal to Donald Trump and I think that includes Melania and the children.

    Like the evangelicals, everyone sees him as a vehicle for their own ends, and will dump him the moment he becomes inconvenient .

    ReplyReply
  27. mike shupp says:

    @JohnSF: How can anyone read or hear that and not think there are grounds for impeachment?

    From what I see Trump supporters argue: (1) Our Beloved Leader drives the libs nuts. (2) Consequently they’re making up wild stories and screaming out their lies in all directions. People in the State Department, FBI, all those reporters and TV journalists — they’re all libs, they’re part of the conspiracy. (3) Our Donald will triumph in the end and the libs will be covered with ignominy and excrement to their final days. Anyone with eyes can see this!

    Any questions?

    ReplyReply
  28. de stijl says:

    @mike shupp:

    If they feel the consensus / zeitgeist turning against them, they will bail.

    They have careers. They have money to collect.

    Self-interest is the easiest behavior to predict.

    ReplyReply
  29. Kathy says:

    @Chip Daniels:

    Are you saying his base only has a transactional relationship with Trump?

    ReplyReply
  30. mike shupp says:

    @de stijl: I wish I could share your opinions but I don’t. What strikes me instead is (1) there’s no way to punish or really argue with so many people who favor Trump, and (2) these people really enjoy being Trump supporters. They’ve got power! Other people fear them! This is a pleasure they’re never going to forget. And they’ll go on cherishing the memory of these golden days and voicing their Trump-ish sentiments wherever it seems safe for the rest of their days.

    And it’s all the rest of us who are going to have to live with that.

    ReplyReply
  31. gVOR08 says:

    @JohnSF:

    How can anyone read or hear that and not think there are grounds for impeachment?

    But Biden, or any Dem, would force their daughters to have abortions, confiscate their guns, and take their stuff to give to brown people. All’s fair in love and war, and they think this is war. And they project. They think Ds are impeaching just to force their daughters, guns, brown people, not because Trump did high crimes and misdemeanors.

    ReplyReply
  32. MarkedMan says:

    @mike shupp:Interesting piece of data. After Nixon was driven from office some polling organization used to throw in a question for anyone old enough to vote in Nixon’s second election: did you vote for him, against him or sit it out? Despite how aggressive and aggrieved his voters were before the election and despite the fact that he won in a huge landslide (60.7% to 37.5%) the post impeachment poll response consistently indicated he would have lost. So a pretty significant percentage of voters had altered their memory, either intentionally or just by the fog of years. I think the same will happen with Trump. Once he is out of office and has no power he will have significantly fewer defenders and supporters than, say, Sarah Palin and about a thousand times more powerful Republicans who will be more than happy to trash him and blame every bad thing that happens on him.

    ReplyReply
  33. grumpy realist says:

    @mike shupp: We’ve gone from “supporting the government based on reality” to “supporting the government because of trolling.”

    I’m starting to think that trolling should be grounds for removal of being considered an adult.

    ReplyReply
  34. Blue Galangal says:

    @mike shupp: I concur. I saw a blue check on Twitter urging followers to understand that Trump had laid a cunning trap and the Democrats were “walking onto a field littered with landmines.”

    One of the responses said landmines kill anyone who sets them off, so at least that was realistic.

    ReplyReply
  35. mike shupp says:

    @MarkedMan: Interesting point. Looking back, memory tells me I voted for Nixon in 1968, then skipped voting for president in 1972; he wasn’t being quite the simon pure conservative I wanted. Similar story with Bush — I voted for him in 2000 but abstained in 2004; I didn’t care for Kerry but I disliked torture as a government policy even more. I did manage to vote for Obama both times. Other years … I voted for Bob Dole in 1996. I used to like wily Republican Senate leaders till McConnell threw out the rule book.

    ReplyReply
  36. mike shupp says:

    @grumpy realist: Uh … I resemble that statement. I’ve been banned from websites from trolling when I made what I concerned innocuous remarks, and it’s probably happened to other folks here. Maybe my fault, since I’m prone to sarcasm It’s easy to write something on the internet which is misinterpreted because the recipient can’t hear the tone of your voice or see the expression on your face.

    ReplyReply

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