A new USA Today/iMediaEthics poll finds Americans evenly split on whether President Trump should be impeached. In answer to the question: “do you think the Congress should?… Or should not?… impeach Donald Trump and remove him from the presidency, or are you not sure?” 42% of the 1250 surveyed said he should, 42% said he should not, and 15% said they were not sure.
That less than half of Americans oppose Trump’s removal from office is stunning just six months into his Presidency. Bill Clinton was impeached (though not removed from office) even though Americans opposed Clinton’s impeachment by about 2 to 1. Support for Nixon’s impeachment didn’t rise above the 50% mark until the last couple of weeks before his resignation. Trump is already above where Nixon was after the Saturday Night Massacre.
Also significant is how the 15% answering they are not sure leaned. Of those “unsures” 36% said they lean towards impeachment while only 8% say they lean against impeachment (56% said they lean neither way). If you add those leaning one direction or another then 47.5% of Americans support or lean towards impeaching Trump, only 43.2% oppose or lean against impeaching Trump, while 8.6% remain purely unsure.
Another finding of the poll bodes poorly for Trump’s future. All 1250 surveyed were also asked this question:
“Based on what you’ve read and heard, which comes closest to your point of view: There is sufficient evidence NOW for Congress to remove Donald Trump from the presidency. There is NOT sufficient evidence NOW for Congress to remove Donald Trump from the presidency, but ongoing investigations will EVENTUALLY provide enough evidence. There will NEVER be sufficient evidence for Congress to remove Donald Trump from the presidency.”
27% said there is sufficient evidence now to remove Trump from office, while another 30% said while there is not sufficient evidence now the ongoing investigations will eventually provide enough evidence. Thus a clear majority of Americans said there will eventually be enough evidence to remove Trump from office. Only 31% said there will never be such evidence, while 11% were unsure.
Trump can take consolation in a strong partisan divide to the question suggesting much of his base is still with him. 70% of Republicans oppose his impeachment. Though, one might regard it as significant that nearly a third of Republicans either support his impeachment (10%) or are not sure (20%).
In the meantime, Trump’s approval ratings continue to a steady decline even in the Rasmussen poll, which has been the most favorable to him. With a 42% approval rating Rasmussen remains the most generous to Trump of the major polls. Others have Trump as low as about 37%. Overall, Trump’s second quarter averaged approval ratings among composites of the polls are by far lower than any modern President. However, the trend of downward approval ratings is strong, and even more concerning for Trump are rising disapproval ratings now well over 50%.
Americans seem to be tilting in favor of impeachment suggesting those supporting it are no longer tilting at windmills.