A slew of media headlines this week are citing a new USA Today/Ipsos poll that found 45% of Americans support President Trump’s impeachment to make the claim that impeachment is popular. While the poll did find 45% of Americans favor impeachment (38% do not), most outlets neglected to mention the fact that 17% are still undecided, presumably waiting for more information. Read more accurately, 55% of the country is either against impeachment, or waiting for more evidence.
The polling data clearly demonstrates the bulk of the American people understand that impeachment is a legal process with an evidence threshold that must be met, not a popularity contest. Much like the far-left’s failed attempt to discredit Justice Kavanaugh without evidence last year, this guilty-until-proven-innocent strategy is likely to backfire.
Over 60% of Americans either do not believe there is enough evidence for impeachment, or do not know yet
Despite the “45% support impeachment” bite-size headline, the poll clearly shows only 39% believe there is enough reliable evidence to support impeachment, 36% believe there is not, and 25% don’t yet know. Those without children in the household, without a college degree, and employed Part Time, are more likely to think there is enough evidence for impeachment. However, those without a college education and employed Part Time are also more likely to say they do not know, as shown below.
Independents are significantly more likely to hold back judgment on impeachment
Support for impeachment is more popular among Democrats than Republicans, but Independents appear to be tuning out the noise or waiting for more evidence. When asked if they think there is enough reliable evidence to support impeachment, 38% of Independents say they do not know, compared to 19% of Republicans and 22% of Democrats. Being married appears to temper enthusiasm for impeachment as well. Just a third of married individuals believe there is enough evidence, versus 45% of unmarried individuals, as shown below.
Almost 80 percent of Americans understand legality of impeachment
The poll asked voters if they realize there are specific legal criteria that determine if a president can be impeached, and overall 79% stated this is true, while 6% stated it is false, and 15% stated they do not know. Eighty-three percent of Republicans, 81% of Democrats, and 76% of Independents are aware of the legal criteria for impeachment.
Democrats may be using impeachment to cultivate unfavorable views of President Trump ahead of the election, but the majority of the American people do not believe the evidence threshold has been met. What is more, recent polling by YouGov shows President Trump’s approval rating has risen from last week, and Independents and female voters are major contributors to that bump. Previous YouGov polling showed President Trump’s approval rise among younger voters and Hispanics after defending himself on Twitter. Democrats hoping to capitalize on anti-Trump sentiment ahead of the election are taking a big gamble. Most Americans understand the legality of impeachment, and key Democrat constituencies are turned off by the impeachment charade.