Public support for impeaching Donald Trump and removing him from office has climbed significantly in the week since news first emerged that Trump sought foreign help for his 2020 re-election campaign, according to two polls released Monday.
One poll, conducted by Quinnipiac University over the weekend, found a 20-point swing in the last five days in support for Trump’s impeachment. Americans are now split 47-47 on the question of impeachment, the poll found, compared with 37% for impeachment and 57% opposition measured by the poll on 25 September.
A second poll, conducted by CNN/SSRS, also found that 47% of Americans support impeaching Trump, up 6 points from when the question was asked in May.
The odds of Trump’s impeachment hit a new high of 71% in online betting markets, meanwhile.
Polling analysts caution that single polls can be misleading and a better guide to the public mood lies in polling averages. There has been insufficient polling about impeachment to establish such an average in the wake of revelations last week about a months-long campaign by Trump and his associates to extract political favors from Ukraine.
The polling analyst Nate Silver pointed out that the Quinnipiac poll, which showed the 20-point swing in opinions about impeachment, was “not a uniformly great poll for Democrats”. “Although support for impeachment is way up,” Silver tweeted, “the number of voters who *strongly* approve of Trump is also up (overall approval roughly unchanged).”
Strong approval for Trump in the Quinnipiac poll jumped from 29% five days ago to 35%. Among Republicans, 88% said they approved or strongly approved of Trump’s job performance.
Among Democrats, 90% said they thought Trump should be impeached and removed from office. Given Democratic control of the House, that support for impeachment could soon translate to actual impeachment.
Removal of Trump from office, which would require Senate action and the defection of about 20 Republican senators, would be much less straightforward and would likely hinge on a large shift in opinions about Trump among Republican voters.
The polls did register some wariness of Trump among Republicans. In the CNN poll, support among Republicans for Trump’s impeachment was measured as more than doubling since May, from 6% to 14%. In the Quinnipiac poll, 12% of Republican respondents said they thought Trump “abuses the power of his office”.
Fifty per cent of independents, who roughly equal Republicans in party registration, told Quinnipiac they approved of the impeachment inquiry against Trump, with 45% disapproving.
A majority of Americans of every political persuasion told the pollster they were paying “a lot” of attention to Trump’s “actions regarding Ukraine”.