A Third of Voters Who Oppose Impeachment Are Worried About Backlash for Democrats, New Poll Suggests

Voters in the new poll also supported broad and decisive impeachment proceedings, not limited to the Ukraine phone call.

FILE - In this Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, file photo President Donald Trump walks to the Oval Office of the White House in Washington as he returns from attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Trump mentioned a long-discredited conspiracy theory in his July phone call with Ukraine's leader. The theory tries to cast doubt on Russia's role in the 2016 hacking of Democratic email. Experts say that raises questions about Trump's ability to distinguish implausible claims from intelligence analysis and further burdens a public already deluged with disinformation. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
President Donald Trump walks to the Oval Office as he returns from the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Sept. 26, 2019. Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP

Last week, after the revelation of a phone call with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced a formal impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. But many of the details are yet to be sorted out: Which of the six investigations into Trump currently being conducted by House committees should impeachment include? And will impeachment proceedings, which are likely to pass the House but fail in the Republican-held Senate, end up backfiring on the Democrats?

A new YouGov Blue poll for the Progressive Change Institute, the nonprofit polling arm of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, lends insight into both of these crucial questions. The poll, released Wednesday morning, found that other polls undercount support for Democrats moving forward on an impeachment inquiry. It also revealed that a third of voters who oppose impeachment actually agree that Trump committed high crimes, but are concerned that it would hurt Democrats politically. And a majority of the voters who support an impeachment inquiry said Democrats should proceed “boldly and decisively,” with all members voting within the next month.

Overall, the poll suggests that voters are roughly split, with 49 percent supporting impeachment and 43 percent opposing it. This dovetails with recent Monmouth University and Quinnipiac polls, which show strengthening support for impeachment. But the YouGov poll shows that those opposed to impeachment may be concerned about political ramifications for Democrats.

Out of the 43 percent of voters who oppose impeachment, 65 percent believe that Trump “did not commit high crimes and misdemeanors and the voters should decide in 2020 whether he stays in office,” while 35 percent say Trump “did commit high crimes and misdemeanors, but Democrats will hurt themselves politically if they proceed on impeachment.”

And, while moderate House Democrats initially got behind impeachment by favoring a narrow inquiry into Trump’s dealing with Ukraine, the YouGov poll indicates that Americans are potentially supportive of a wider indictment of the president. Since the impeachment inquiry was first announced, of course, we’ve also learned of possible additional phone calls by Trump with the Australian prime minister, as well as possible contact by Attorney General William Barr with foreign officials regarding the Mueller investigation.

Seventy-one percent of the voters surveyed said that a vote on the articles of impeachment should include a vote on “all alleged high crimes and misdemeanors, not just the most recent high-profile one.” Meanwhile, 29 percent said it should focus on the most recent allegation that “Trump used his office to get the government of Ukraine to interfere in our 2020 election.” Sixty percent favored Democrats proceeding “boldly and decisively” in the next month.

“This poll shows that the public knows Trump is corrupt and wants bold impeachment action now due to his many crimes against our democracy,” Stephanie Taylor, Progressive Change Institute co-founder, said in a press release. “If elected officials lead, the public will be with them. People are ready to fight back against all the ways that Trump is enabling corrupt, corporate control of our democracy.”

The poll surveyed 1,009 registered voters between September 27 and 29, and had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

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