The Slatest

Early Polling Suggests Opinion May Be Shifting Toward Favoring Trump Impeachment

President Donald Trump invites Vice President Mike Pence to speak during a reception to honor Hispanic Heritage Month, in The East Room at the White House on September 27, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
President Donald Trump invites Vice President Mike Pence to speak during a reception to honor Hispanic Heritage Month, in The East Room at the White House on September 27, 2019 in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Polls have long shown that Americans aren’t really in favor of impeaching President Donald Trump. But that may be changing. Or at least that’s what three new polls suggest. With the necessary caveat that all these surveys were conducted in the middle of a very active news cycle and could quickly change again, the numbers show there has been an increase in support for impeachment that has largely, though not exclusively, been driven by Democrats.

The latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found 49 percent approve of impeachment, compared to 46 percent who disapprove. Although still just shy of 50 percent, the poll shows a 10-point surge in favor of impeachment compared to the same survey in April. The pollsters noted that considering 70 percent of those surveyed said they were paying attention, opinions could change quickly. “Democrats in the House have work to do to convince people of the usefulness of their case,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion.

Yet that poll was hardly alone in finding an increase in support for impeachment in a short period of time. A poll by Politico/Morning Consult found voters were equally split at 43 percent on whether Congress should begin the impeachment process with 13 percent of voters remaining undecided. Although the numbers are still decidedly shy of a majority, they show a seven-point jump in support for impeachment proceedings from the previous week. Among Democratic voters the increase was even more pronounced at 13 points, from 66 percent to 79 percent. But Republicans and independents have also moved. “As more information has emerged about whistleblower allegations against President Trump, support for impeachment proceedings has grown to its highest point since the beginning of the summer,” Tyler Sinclair, Morning Consult vice president, said. “This week’s news cycle had a significant impact on Republicans and independents, giving credibility to Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. Up from 5 percent last week, 10 percent of Republicans now support beginning impeachment proceedings, while support among independents has reached 39 percent.”

A HuffPost/YouGov poll, which like the Politico/Morning Consult survey was conducted from Tuesday through Thursday, shows an increase in the margin between those supporting impeachment and those who do not to 47 percent vs 39 percent. That eight-point margin is a sharp increase from a poll conducted earlier this month that showed the margin in favor of impeachment at two points, 43-41 percent. That increase was largely driven by Democrats, whose support for impeachment rose to 81 percent from 74 percent.