Poll: No change on impeachment views after public hearings
After five days of public hearings in House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump, public opinion over whether the President ought to be impeached and removed from office remains exactly the same as it was in October, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS.
Half of Americans say Trump should be impeached and removed from office, 43% say he should not. Neither figure has changed since October, with support for impeachment remaining at its highest level thus far in CNN polling. The partisan divide over the President persists as well, with roughly 80 points between Democratic support for Trump’s removal and Republican support for it.
Independents are closely divided on the question, 47% in favor, 45% opposed. Opinions on both sides are deeply held, with about 9 in 10 on either side saying they feel strongly in favor or against it.
The President’s approval rating has also held about even since October: 42% say they approve, 54% disapprove.
Although views on impeachment and removal have not moved, the poll finds that 53% say Trump improperly used his office to gain political advantage, up from 49% who said the same in October. More, 56%, say the President’s efforts to get Ukraine to launch investigations into the Biden family, a Ukrainian energy company and the 2016 election were more to benefit himself politically than to fight Ukrainian corruption.
The public is about evenly divided over whether there is enough evidence now for the House to vote to impeach the President and send him to trial before the Senate (48% say yes, 47% say no). And a narrow majority (52%) say the Democrats have exercised their constitutional powers properly during the impeachment inquiry, 40% say they have abused their constitutional powers.
A third of Americans say the Republicans in Congress are doing too much to defend Trump (33%), while 17% say they are doing too little and 41% say they’re doing the right amount to defend Trump. Among Republicans, 64% call the effort about right and 24% say they’re not going far enough to defend the President.
About 4 in 10 say they are following the proceedings “very closely,” and among that group, support for impeachment and removal (53% say yes, 46% say no) is a bit higher than it is overall. This more-attentive group is also more likely to say that there is enough evidence now for the House to vote to send the case to trial before the Senate (52% say yes, 48% no). But they are no more likely than the overall public to believe that Trump improperly used his office (52%) or pushed Ukraine to launch investigations in order to benefit himself politically (54%).
Even as overall numbers on impeachment and presidential approval hold steady, the poll suggests a growing gender gap, with women increasingly negative in their assessment of Trump. There is now a 20-point difference between men and women on Trump’s overall approval rating (52% of men approve vs. 32% of women), the fifth time the divide has been that large in CNN’s polling during Trump’s presidency.
And the poll marks the first time that more than 60% of women have said they backed impeaching Trump and removing him from office (61% say so now, compared with 56% in October and 51% in May), even as a majority of men remain opposed to impeachment (53% oppose it).
The President’s approval rating for handling the economy rose in this poll to 55%, his best mark since April of this year. That increase has come via a steady climb among independents: In September, 46% approved of his handling of the economy, that rose to 53% in October and stands at 57% now. At the same time, disapproval of the President’s handling of foreign affairs has dipped from 59% to 55%. On immigration (39% approve, 58% disapprove) and foreign trade (42% approve, 52% disapprove) there has been little recent change. Trump’s approval rating for handling the federal budget is underwater, with 50% disapproving and 37% approving.
The CNN Poll was conducted by SSRS November 21 through 24 among a random national sample of 1,007 adults reached on landlines or cellphones by a live interviewer. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.