Americans are busy talking about Donald Trump’s presidency and the possibility of impeachment but when it comes down to actually removing the Commander in Chief from office, a new CNN poll shows the country is divided.
The poll, conducted by SSRS after a formal impeachment inquiry was announced by House Dems, shows that support for impeachment is growing among independents and Republicans. Almost 47% are in favor of impeachment and removal from office. That’s a rise from the 41% who showed support of the process in May but back to the levels of support for impeachment shown in a September 2018 CNN poll.
The number of impeachment supporters is higher than those in opposition and this is a first for CNN polling data with but still fall within the margin of error.
Since May, the growth in support has mainly come from independents and Republicans as about 3/4 of self-identified Democrats favor impeaching Trump and removing him from office and that number has mostly stayed constant. But among independents, support for removal is on the uptick, rising 11 points in independents and 8 points in Republicans.
One other important factor in the shift seems to be age- younger Americans are now backing the impeachment process in alarmingly large numbers. Sixty percent of Americans 35 and under now offer their support of removing the president from office, up from 43% who claimed that view in May. Support from older Americans is holding steady.
Earlier CNN data had not noted such an age gap in support and even more curious, the shift seems to be concentrated on the right. Support for impeachment among Republicans and right-leaning independents under age 50 has risen from 9% to 22% in just a few months.
The survey also says that nearly half of those polled believe Trump has used the office of the presidency improperly in order to gain advantage over his potential 2020 opponents through his relationship, connection, and interaction with the president of Ukraine.
Back in 1998, when polled, about 47% of Americans believed that most congressional Republicans were in favor of then-President Clinton’s impeachment simply because they were out to get him. These days, Americans mostly believe that congressional Democrats back impeachment because they truly believe Trump committed impeachable offenses (49%).
As far as Republicans now, the public is about split over whether their opposition to impeaching Trump is more out of loyalty to him (42%) or because they believe he is innocent (43). Back when the last impeachment dealings were at hand with Clinton, 51% thought House Democrats were out to protect Clinton no matter what.