A plurality of Americans now support the impeachment of Donald Trump, a new USA Today/Ipsos Poll of 1,006 adults, taken Tuesday and Wednesday, shows.
Although the partisan divide is predictably stark, the poll is the latest bit of evidence to suggest that popular support for removing the president from office is growing.
The poll found that 45% of Americans believe the House should vote to impeach Trump (38% do not). 44% think the Senate should convict him (35% do not).
As Ipsos notes, “the issue of impeachment uncovers a vast partisan split, as Democrats overwhelmingly favor a House impeachment vote (74%) and Senate conviction (72%), while fewer than one in five Republicans (17% each) agree”.
(Note: While 17% is obviously a very low number, the fact that nearly one in five Republicans support not only a vote to impeach, but a Senate vote to convict and remove, seems somewhat at odds with the president’s claims that his support among GOP voters is basically universal)
The sample includes 412 Democrats, 403 Republicans, and 115 Independents.
Just how much has public opinion shifted on this issue in light of the Ukraine scandal? Well, quite a bit, actually.
A USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll taken in June revealed that Americans opposed impeachment by nearly 2-1, 61%-32%.
A simplistic read is that Americans consider Trump’s call with Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky to be a more serious issue than the Mueller report.
To the extent one can draw that conclusion, it could very well be that a short transcript released by the White House itself was far easier for voters to digest and understand than a 400+ page report penned by a team of prosecutors.
You could argue that the whistle-blower complaint itself is behind the surge in support for impeachment, or that it’s just a cumulative effect (i.e., a “straw that broke the camel’s back” type of deal), but, again, it’s entirely possible that Americans simply found the call transcript to be compelling evidence against Trump, an ironic development considering he himself authorized its release.
It probably doesn’t help that the president continues to shout (both on Twitter and on camera) about the call being “perfect!” – that incessant spin effort may be too transparently defensive even for some Trump supporters.
“Even among Republicans, 30% say the president asking Ukraine to look into the behavior of former vice president Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, would be an abuse of power”, USA Today writes, summarizing the results of the Ipsos Poll.
Worse, a whopping 80% of Republicans said Trump is subject to all laws.
Hilariously, that’s actually a higher number than among Democrats or independents.