Majority of Americans support beginning an impeachment inquiry, new poll shows

Donald Trump
Posted at 3:49 PM, Oct 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-08 16:49:02-04

(CNN) -- A majority of Americans say they support House Democrats' move to start an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, according to a Washington Post-Schar School poll released Tuesday.

The inquiry, announced by the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, centers around Trump's phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, after a whistleblower filed a complaint about the call. A transcript of the conversation released by the White House shows Trump repeatedly pushed Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe or Hunter Biden.

Almost three-in-ten Republicans in the poll said they supported beginning an impeachment inquiry into the President, as well as 57% of independents, and 86% of Democrats.

Around two-thirds of Americans think that Trump's phone call with the Ukrainian President was inappropriate: 43% very inappropriate and 17% somewhat. Around a third said Trump's request was appropriate.

Another three-in-five Americans said that Trump doesn't uphold adequate standards for ethics in government.

In July of this year, a Washington Post/ABC News poll found that only 37% of Americans said Congress should begin impeachment proceedings, the lowest it had been since they began tracking the question in August, 2018, when 49% wanted impeachment proceedings to begin. Now, 58% said Congress should have begun the inquiry -- only 38% said they shouldn't have.

A new Quinnipiac University poll, out Tuesday, found slightly lower support for impeachment than the Post. Forty-five percent of those polled said the President should be impeached and removed from office, 49% said he shouldn't be. Quinnipiac's poll was among registered voters, rather than all adults, but often question wording makes a big difference, with their poll specifically referencing Trump's removal from office.

More (53%) approve of the House's formal impeachment inquiry.

Trump holding back military aid from Ukraine before his request to Zelensky is seen as a big deal in the Washington Post poll -- 58% said this matters "a lot" or "a great deal" -- while fewer said it doesn't matter as much -- 37% said it matters "not so much" or "not at all."

And Americans aren't just interested in the inquiry, most are serious about him also being removed from office.

Nearly half agree that the Congress should have begun the impeachment proceeding and think that the House should vote to remove Trump from office, while only 6% approve of the proceedings but don't want him removed, and 38% don't agree with the proceedings to begin with.

A majority of Americans (61%) said that Democrats in Congress are making a necessary stand against Trump's actions by beginning impeachment proceedings. Over half (53%) said they're acting to uphold their constitutional duties. Only 41% said this was an overreaction while 55% said it isn't.

Another half of Americans said that Democrats are distracting Congress from more important issues.

The Washington Post and the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University poll was conducted by telephone between October 1 and 6 among a random national sample of 1,007 adults, 69% of whom were reached on cellphones and 31% on landlines. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points; the error margin is larger for results among subgroups.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted by phone October 4 - 7, surveying 1,483 self-identified registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points, including the design effect.

This story has been updated.

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