Weeks of congressional hearings over impeaching President Donald Trump have left the public still divided and deeply polarized by the prospect, judging from a new slate of polling, including a HuffPost/YouGov poll.
Pollsters are in some disagreement on the level of support for impeachment, leaving observers with no easy takeaways. The latest surveys find everything from modest backing to modest opposition. Most, however, suggest that support for impeachment has remained steady or ticked slightly downward since the congressional hearings began last month.
In FiveThirtyEight’s aggregate of polls, views are close to evenly divided: About 47% support either impeaching Trump or impeaching and removing him, and about 47% are opposed. When the hearings started on Nov. 13, 47% were supportive and 45% were opposed.
In all of HuffPost/YouGov’s polling since October, support for impeachment has remained between 44% and 48%, with opposition ranging from 39% to 43%. The last three weeks of polling show fluctuation, but not a clear trend. A poll taken Nov. 27-29 found support at 46% and opposition at 41%; a Dec. 4-6 poll found the gap had narrowed to 44% support and 43% opposition. The most recent HuffPost/YouGov survey, conducted last Wednesday and Thursday, puts support at 47% and opposition at 40%.
Opinions on the impeachment process remain starkly partisan: 90% of voters who supported Trump in the 2016 election say he should not be ousted, the most recent HuffPost/YouGov survey finds, while 93% of those who voted for Hillary Clinton say that he should.
Views are also deeply held. The survey finds that just 18% of impeachment supporters and 16% of impeachment opponents say they might change their minds if new facts were to come out. More than three-quarters in each camp say their minds are made up.
Among those who still remain undecided about impeachment, 45% say they lean more toward supporting impeachment and 55% say they lean toward no impeachment.
Because the framing of impeachment questions ― and the results ― can vary from poll to poll, it’s worth looking at a few more individual polls that were conducted within the past week.
Here’s a quick summary of the findings from those surveys:
Fox News (50% of voters support impeachment and removal, 46% oppose impeachment and removal): “Weeks of congressional hearings and debate have failed to move the electorate on impeachment.”
Washington Post/ABC News (49% of adults support impeachment and removal, 46% oppose impeachment and removal): “Weeks of public testimony and days of rancorous committee hearings on the president’s efforts to pressure Ukrainian leaders to investigate a political rival have had no impact on how Americans see the charges pending against the president.”
Reuters/Ipsos (45% of adults support impeachment, 41% oppose impeachment): “Perceptions regarding whether President Trump should be impeached or not remain split. ... President Trump’s job approval rating also remains unchanged from last week.”
NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist (47% of adults support impeachment, 48% oppose impeachment): “Americans’ views of impeachment are split and largely unchanged. ... ‘It’s like the hearings have never happened,’ said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted the poll. ‘The arguments have only served to reinforce existing views, and everyone is rooting for their side.’”
USA Today/Suffolk (41% of voters say the House should vote to impeach Trump, 14% that the House should keep investigating, 42% that Congress should drop its investigation): “Americans [are] closely divided on whether the House of Representatives should impeach President Trump. ... Sentiments divided along predictable partisan lines.”
CNN/SSRS (45% of adults support impeachment and removal, 47% oppose impeachment and removal): “Support for impeaching Trump and removing him from office stands at 45% in the new poll, down from 50% in a poll conducted in mid-November just after the conclusion of the House Intelligence Committee’s public hearings. ... Support for impeachment and removal among Democrats has dipped from 90% in November to 77% now. That finding comes even as public views on the facts driving the impeachment process have held steady.”
Quinnipiac (45% of voters support impeachment and removal, 51% oppose impeachment and removal): “Opinion on impeachment is unchanged from a week ago. ... However, opposition to impeachment has increased since the hearings began.”
More findings from the latest HuffPost/YouGov poll:
Americans are roughly split on Democrats’ handling of the impeachment inquiry ― 43% approve and 44% disapprove. They’re more negative toward the performance of the congressional GOP (37% approve, 48% disapprove) and of Trump (38% approve, 50% disapprove).
A 46% plurality of Americans say they believe Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine in order to spur an investigation into the Biden family, while 32% say they believe he did not, and 22% are unsure. Sixteen percent say that doing so would be appropriate, with 26% saying it would be inappropriate but not impeachable, 43% that it would be impeachable, and 15% that they’re not sure. Responses to both these questions are nearly identical to the reactions in a HuffPost/YouGov survey taken just after the start of congressional impeachment hearings.
Just 26% of Americans think it’s even somewhat likely that Trump will be impeached and removed from office. Democrats are slightly more bullish, with 41% saying it’s at least somewhat likely. Relatively few Democrats express concerns about the political consequences of failing to remove Trump from office: Just 18% say that would hurt the party in the next election.
The survey, which was taken after the release of a Justice Department report on the FBI’s Russia investigation, also asked about opinions of the FBI. About half of Americans, 49%, say they trust the bureau at least a fair amount, and 36% say they don’t trust it much or at all. Thirty percent say the FBI is biased against Trump, 30% that it’s fair, and 9% that it’s biased in favor of the president. Those numbers are little changed since last February.
Use the widget below to further explore the results of the latest HuffPost/YouGov survey, using the menu at the top to select survey questions and the buttons at the bottom to filter the data by subgroups:
The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted Dec. 11-12 among U.S. adults, including 364 Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters, using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.
HuffPost has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. More details on the polls’ methodology are available here.
Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some but not all potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.