News & Politics

Democratic Support for Impeachment Sharply Increases in New Poll

Democratic Support for Impeachment Sharply Increases in New Poll
President Donald Trump delivers remarks to the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

A new Morning Consult/Politico poll conducted Tuesday-Thursday shows public support for beginning impeachment hearings of Donald Trump has increased by 7 points from a poll conducted last weekend.

But the increase in support for beginning impeachment proceedings can largely be explained by a 13% jump in support from registered Democratic voters. There was a slight increase among Republicans and independents.

The poll, which began after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced her support for impeachment proceedings on Tuesday, shows 43 percent of voters think Congress should begin the process of impeachment, while an equal number of poll respondents say Congress shouldn’t begin impeachment proceedings. Another 13 percent of voters are undecided.

Online interviews for the latest POLITICO/Morning Consult poll began Tuesday night, after Pelosi’s announcement, and ran through early Thursday, with nearly all interviews conducted prior to the public release of a complaint from a whistleblower concerned about Trump’s conduct in dealing with Ukraine.

Support for impeachment is up 7 points from the previous poll, which was conducted last Friday through Sunday. In that survey, only 36 percent of voters supported starting impeachment proceedings, while 49 percent opposed them.

Does everyone who wants impeachment proceedings to begin also want Trump removed from office? Obviously not. And there will be confusion, as there was when Bill Clinton was impeached, over the difference between impeaching the president and a Senate trial.

But the cross-tabs on this poll reveal more of the truth.

Among Democratic voters, support for impeachment proceedings has increased 13 points, from 66 percent in the previous poll, to 79 percent now.

But, according to Morning Consult vice president Tyler Sinclair, support has also ticked up among other voters.

“As more information has emerged about whistleblower allegations against President Trump, support for impeachment proceedings has grown to its highest point since the beginning of the summer,” Sinclair said. “This week’s news cycle had a significant impact on Republicans and independents, giving credibility to Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. Up from 5 percent last week, 10 percent of Republicans now support beginning impeachment proceedings, while support among independents has reached 39 percent.”

What makes this poll even more suspect is that a large percentage of voters are still unfamiliar with the entire Ukraine story.

Only 32 percent of voters surveyed in the new poll say they’ve heard “a lot” about news reports that Trump told senior administration officials to withhold military aid to Ukraine, days before he pressured the country’s president to investigate what he casts as corrupt behavior by former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, who worked with a Ukrainian natural gas company.

Politico’s headline for their poll is also misleading: “Support for impeachment jumps in new poll.” In fact, support for beginning “impeachment proceedings” jumped, not support for impeachment. That’s an entirely different question and Politico should have made that clear. The question asked of poll respondents was, “Yes, Congress should begin impeachment proceedings.”

Not much bias there, huh?

The country is split down the middle with a vast majority of Democrats favoring the start of impeachment hearings while a vast majority of Republicans oppose them. Needless to say, if Democrats go ahead and impeach Trump with a solid bloc of Republicans still supporting the president and independents wishy-washy about it, it could have a devastating effect at the polls next November.

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