While the majority of Americans believe President Donald Trump encouraging a foreign government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden is a very serious matter, few were surprised about it.
In an ABC News/Ipsos public opinion survey published September 29, only one in five respondents were surprised by the president’s actions. Another 32% responded they were “not so surprised,” while 51% said they were “not at all surprised.”
A series of polls published last week, including one by Reuters/Ipsos and another by Quinnipiac University, found that just 37% of Americans think Trump should be impeached following the news.
“There were a series of other polls that came out that put this level higher than our poll, but that 37% was before [Nancy] Pelosi’s announcement and before the release of the transcript and whistleblower complaint,” said Clifford Young, president of U.S. public affairs for Ipsos.
“Those that were paying a lot of attention to the event unfolding were much more in favor of impeachment,” said Young, adding it’s likely that more Americans are paying attention now.
Among the 504 respondents to the latest Ipsos poll, 63% of people said they are closely following the events as they unfold.
Another CBS News-YouGov poll published Sunday found that 55% of Americans support Congress opening an impeachment inquiry. The next battle of the impeachment process will be convincing moderate Republicans and undecided independents and Democrats to support it. This will likely be harder to swing, given the president’s 91% approval rating among Republicans.
“I would say it’s possible but it’s very, very unlikely,” said Young, who added, “I think there’s room on the margins for moderate Republicans to shift. Obviously Independents are more likely to be swayed.”
Last week, a memo regarding the president’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky revealed Trump urged the Ukrainian leader to open an investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son. Trump also asked Zelensky to investigate the matter further with help from his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and U.S. Attorney General William Barr, according to the memo.
“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution, and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great,” Trump said on the call, according to a memo. “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it … It sounds horrible to me.”
House Democrats launched the first step of the formal impeachment process against Trump last Tuesday.
But it will be an uphill battle with Republicans controlling the Senate, at least 20 of which would need to join all 47 Senate Democratic Caucus members to impeach the president.
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