Today, the U.S. House of Representatives began holding public hearings for an official impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. While Democrats are hoping the proceedings end with the president being removed from office, Republicans are rallying behind the commander in chief to defend him from what they believe is a unfair witch hunt.
With the battle lines drawn, it can be easy to forget that in many ways the American public will ultimately decide the president’s fate, not the folks in D.C. Public support for impeachment remains fluid, and over the coming weeks Republicans and Democrats will be looking to move the needle to their side. As we move into this new phase, FiveThirtyEight analyzed current polling to see where public opinion lies with the impeachment process to get a baseline metric before the hearings begin in earnest. Below are their top line findings:
Support For Impeachment Has A Slight Edge: “As of around noon Monday, according to our impeachment polling tracker, on average, 48.0 percent of Americans said they supported impeachment in one form or another, while 44.4 percent said they didn’t support it. That’s not too different from the 49.3 percent who supported impeachment and 43.5 percent who opposed it a month earlier.”
An Impeachment Inquiry Has More Support Than Removing Trump From Office: “As of Monday morning, 51.0 percent of Americans supported beginning the impeachment process, while 46.6 percent supported impeachment and 47.4 percent supported impeachment and removal.”
Democrats Are Most Likely To Support Removal: “As of Monday, the percentage of Democrats who supported impeachment and removal (84.6 percent) was closer to the percentage who supported beginning the process (85.6 percent) than to the percentage who supported impeachment alone (80.8 percent).”
Republicans Are Most Likely To Oppose Removal: “Support for impeachment and removal has consistently been the lowest of the three categories since late September, with support hitting a measly 9.3 percent on Monday, while support for impeachment alone was at 11.1 percent (although we should note that, because of polls’ margins of error, that’s not a meaningful difference). Support for beginning the impeachment process was highest, although still not that high at 13.6 percent.”
Independents Remain On The Fence: “Finally, among independents, the picture looks much the same as it does overall. Support for beginning the impeachment process has consistently been significantly higher than support in the other types of polls and sat at 49.5 percent on Monday. Meanwhile, support for impeaching Trump and support for impeaching and removing him have moved in tandem over the last five weeks. Since Nov. 3, however, independents have been a bit more likely to support impeachment and removal than simple impeachment, and the numbers were 44.3 percent to 41.1 percent as of Monday.”