Rasmussen Poll: Third of Americans Want Bush Impeached
Apropos yesterday’s flap over Senator John Kerry’s speech joking about impeaching the president if the Democrats retake the House next year, Shawn Wasson passes along a Rasmussen poll showing that 32% of the public wanting President Bush to be impeached.
Thirty-two percent (32%) of Americans believe that President George W. Bush should be impeached and removed from office. Fifty-eight percent (58%) take the opposite view. However, just 30% of Americans would be more likely to vote for a Congressional candidate who promised to work for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney. Fifty-two percent (52%) would be less likely to vote for such a candidate.
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The Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 adults was commissioned by After Downing Street, a coalition working “to pressure both Congress and the media to investigate whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war.”
The impeachment of President Bush is favored by a plurality (49%) of Democrats. However, it is opposed by 84% of Republicans and 55% of those not affiliated with either major political party. Democrats, by a 47% to 28% margin, say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports impeachment. Eighty percent (80%) of Republicans are less likely to do so.
That the poll was commissioned by an interest group who would very much like this result is not in an of itself problematic; many public policy polls are so financed and, so long as the poll methodology is legitimate, so are the results. The problem here is that the report here gives us no idea what the methodology was aside from the sample size. We don’t even know how the question was phrased.
A Zogby poll taken six weeks ago, also commissioned by After Downing, showed that a bare majority supported looking into impeachment if it could be demonstrated that the president lied about the intelligence leading us to war.
I’m more than a little skeptical of the Rasmussen numbers. Look at another poll they’ve released today:
Forty-six percent (46%) of American adults approve of the way George W. Bush is performing his role as President. Fifty-three percent (53%) disapprove. Bush earns approval from 78% of Republicans, 16% of Democrats, and 41% of unaffiliated voters.
Forty percent (40%) of Americans give President Bush good or excellent ratings for his handling of the situation in Iraq. That’s up from 38% a couple of weeks ago and 33% in November.
Thirty-two percent (32%) of Americans believe George W. Bush should be impeached and removed from office. A separate survey found that 33% of Americans believe that it is not possible for the U.S. to succeed in Iraq.
Something’s not right here. For one thing, Rasmussen’s Bush approval numbers are consistently much higher than contemporaneous polls. That’s a red flag in and of itself. The juxtaposition of the two polls, though, strikes me as highly unlikely. 53% of the public disapproves of Bush’s job performance and a full 32% believe he should be impeached? So, people either strongly support him or think he is a criminal? Even in our highly charged partisan times, that’s highly unlikely.