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Poll: Voters largely unswayed by House Dems’ push for impeachment

Over the past few months, House Democrats have been building support for impeachment within the caucus. But they haven’t brought the American people with them.
Even as nearly two-thirds of Democratic members favor impeaching President Donald Trump or at least opening an impeachment inquiry, a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll shows they haven’t made the sale to voters. Only 37 percent support beginning impeachment proceedings, while half oppose it. Just 12 percent of voters are undecided.
Since the release of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report in the spring, overall support for impeachment has fluctuated between 35 percent and 38 percent, while opposition has ranged from 46 percent to 53 percent.
Among Democrats, however, 7 in 10 support beginning impeachment proceedings. Only 18 percent of Democratic voters oppose impeachment. Among registered voters who said they intend to participate in a Democratic presidential primary or caucus in their states, 68 percent want Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump, while 20 percent do not.
Republicans are in near-lockstep in opposition to impeachment: Only 6 percent want to begin proceedings. But independents tilt heavily against impeaching Trump. Only 31 percent want Congress to begin impeachment proceedings, compared with 50 percent who think Congress should not begin impeachment proceedings.
“Initiating impeachment proceedings against President Trump remains a popular move among the Democratic base, but it won’t necessarily help them win voters across the aisle,” said Tyler Sinclair, Morning Consult’s vice president. He added that the “numbers have marginally changed from July following Robert Mueller’s testimony on Capitol Hill, after which 34 percent of independents and 8 percent of Republicans supported impeachment.”
Last week, the House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to establish the parameters of an impeachment inquiry. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has downplayed the possibility that Democrats would move to impeach Trump, given the realities of public opinion and the Republican-controlled Senate.
While less than 40 percent of voters support impeaching Trump, the president is still in severe political peril, the poll shows. His approval rating is 43 percent and has been mired in the low 40s for most of the summer.
Just 37 percent said they will “definitely” or “probably” vote to reelect Trump next year, while 53 percent will “definitely” or “probably” vote for someone else.
The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll was conducted Sept. 13-15, surveying 1,994 registered voters. The margin error is plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Morning Consult is a nonpartisan media and technology company that provides data-driven research and insights on politics, policy and business strategy.