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Impeachment

PollerCoaster 2020: What’s Happening With Impeachment

Crooked Media/Change Research PollerCoaster 2020:
Impeachment

TOP FINDINGS

  • A majority of voters support impeaching Donald Trump. 53% support the impeachment inquiry, while 45% are opposed; 51% support impeaching Trump and removing him from office, while 46% are opposed. 
    • Democrats and Republicans have strong feelings on impeachment. 94% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents support the impeachment inquiry, while 94% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents oppose it. Overall, 91% of voters either strongly support or strongly oppose impeachment.
    • Independents and swing voters support impeachment. 51% of independents and 60% of swing voters (those who support candidates from both parties) favor the impeachment inquiry, while 50% of independents and 57% of swing voters support removing Trump from office. 
  • Trump trails the Democrat in 2020. 49% of voters say they’ll probably or definitely for the Democratic candidate, while 45% say they’ll probably or definitely vote for Trump. Another 4% are unsure, and 2% say they’ll vote for a third-party candidate. 

VIEWS OF THE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY 

  • Voters are far more supportive of how Democrats in Congress are handling impeachment than they are of Republicans. Overall, voters are evenly split, 49-49, on how Congressional Democrats are handling the inquiry. But only 36% approve of how Congressional Republicans are handling the inquiry, while 60% disapprove – including 60% of independents and 71% of swing voters. 
  • Voters strongly believe that the White House and Republicans should cooperate with the inquiry, not obstruct it. By 62-31%, voters believe that White House officials should comply with subpoenas and testify before Congress. Additionally, 55% of voters believe that Republicans should cooperate with Democrats to pursue the truth, while only 15% believe that Republicans should block the inquiry – including 13% of independents and 11% of swing voters. 
  • Voters want Democrats to expand the investigation beyond Ukraine if evidence points to additional abuses of power. 51% hold this view, while only 17% believe that the inquiry should focus exclusively on the Ukraine scandal. Another 32% are unsure. 
  • People have heard far less about any of the testimony from Trump officials than about the call and the whistleblower. About 75% of voters have heard a lot about the call and the whistleblower complaint. But only 55% have heard a lot about administration officials testifying. 

VIEWS OF THE ALLEGATIONS AND EVIDENCE 

  • Most who oppose the inquiry think the allegations are false. 68% of impeachment opponents believe the allegations are false; 11% think they’re true but not impeachable. The other 21% wrote in responses; by far the most common word in these responses was “Democrats.” Most of these were along the lines of Democrats being 1) corrupt, 2) bitter about losing in 2016, 3) trying to get rid of Trump since day one, or some combination of the three.
    • Republicans who watch Fox News are much likelier to think the allegations are false than other Republicans. 89% of Republicans who get most of their impeachment news from Fox oppose the inquiry because they think the allegations aren’t true; 59% of other Republicans say the same. 
  • More Republicans and independents believe the allegations against Trump are impeachable when Trump’s name isn’t mentioned. Asked whether Trump should be impeached for pressuring Ukraine to investigate the Biden family, 51% of voters said yes, including 50% of independents and 4% of Republicans. But when asked whether a president of either party should be impeached for pressuring a foreign government to investigate a political rival, 60% of voters said yes, including 60% of independents and 20% of Republicans. 
  • The most persuasive pieces of evidence are the testimony from Trump officials and White House obstruction. We presented voters with a list of evidence that has emerged from the Ukraine scandal. As the table below shows, the evidence that made people say they’re most likely to support impeachment has to do with damning testimony from Trump officials, Mick Mulvaney’s admission of a quid pro quo, the White House hiding call transcripts on a secret server, and the White House blocking officials from testifying. But, overall, the margins were fairly slim on every piece of evidence. 

  • The most persuasive message about impeachment has to do with Lt. Col. Vindman’s testimony that the White House doctored the summary of Trump’s call with the President of Ukraine. We presented voters with a series of arguments in the table below about why Trump deserves to be impeached, and Republicans reacted slightly more positively to one about Lt. Col. Vindman. Messages about how the President isn’t above the law and how Trump abused his power were also at the top of the list.
  • Because most voters already have strong feelings on the issue, there was little movement after the presentation of arguments both for and against impeachment. After messaging, support for impeachment and removal ticked up a single point, and the numbers opposing impeachment didn’t change. The margin in the 2020 presidential race also stays the same, though it goes from the Democratic leading Trump 49-45% to 50-46%.

  • Because most voters already have strong feelings on the issue, there was little movement after the presentation of arguments both for and against impeachment. After messaging, support for impeachment and removal ticked up a single point, and the numbers opposing impeachment didn’t change. The margin in the 2020 presidential race also stays the same, though it goes from the Democratic leading Trump 49-45% to 50-46%.