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The Trump Impeachment Inquiry

​An AP-NORC Poll conducted in October 2019 looks at views of the impeachment inquiry.

Last month, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House of Representatives would initiate a formal impeachment inquiry against President Trump, charging him with betraying his oath of office and the nation’s security by seeking to enlist a foreign power to investigate a rival for his own political gain.1  

Overall, 47% of Americans approve the impeachment inquiry compared to 38% who disapprove. Thirteen percent neither approve nor disapprove. However, most say the House is motivated more by politics and to challenge Trump’s presidency rather than acting in good faith in accord with their oversight responsibilities (53% vs. 43%). Thirty-three percent say the inquiry should be a top priority for Congress and another 19% say it is important but a lower priority.

Opinions are strongly linked to political partisanship. Eighty-three percent of Democrats approve the inquiry launched by the House; 78% of Republicans disapprove.

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Question: Do you approve or disapprove, or neither approve nor disapprove of the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump by the House of Representatives?
Source: AP-NORC poll conducted October 24-28, 2019, with 1,075 adults nationwide.

Opinions by party look similar when it comes to assessing the legality of Trump’s interactions with the President of Ukraine.

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Question: When it comes to Donald Trump’s interactions with the president of Ukraine, do you think Trump has done something illegal, or he has done something unethical, but not illegal, or do you think he has not done anything wrong?
Source: AP-NORC poll conducted October 24-28, 2019, with 1,075 adults nationwide.

Among those who neither approve nor disapprove the House’s impeachment inquiry, 66% say Trump has done something unethical but not illegal, while 18% say he has done something illegal and 14% who think he has not done anything wrong.

More Americans say the impeachment inquiry should be a top (33%) or important priority (19%) for Congress, than say it should be a low priority (16%) or not done at all (31%). Democrats are more likely than independents and Republicans to say it should be a top priority. Republicans are more likely to say it should not be done at all compared to independents and Democrats.

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Question: Thinking about the things Congress should work on, how much of a priority do you think the impeachment inquiry should be right now?
Source: AP-NORC poll conducted October 24-28, 2019, with 1,075 adults nationwide.

Fifty-three percent of Americans say the House is motivated more by politics to challenge Trump’s presidency compared to 43% who say it is acting in good faith on its responsibility to investigate the executive branch. Democrats are more likely than Republicans to think the House is acting in compliance with its oversight responsibilities (71% vs. 12%). Republicans are more likely than Democrats to say there are political motivations behind the inquiry (86% vs. 27%).

The White House announced that it would not cooperate with what it called an illegitimate effort “to overturn the results of the 2016 election.”2 

Nearly half (49%) of Americans say the Trump administration is cooperating too little with the House of Representatives; 35% think it is cooperating the right amount and 13% say it is cooperating too much.

Men are twice as likely as women to say the administration is cooperating too much with the House (18% vs. 9%).

Sixty-nine percent of Americans say it was inappropriate for Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, to have a role on the board of an Ukrainian energy company while his father was vice president. Only 27% think it was appropriate. 

Twenty-nine percent say they understand the process extremely or very well, while 43% report moderate understanding. Twenty-seven percent  admit they do not understand it. 

The recent impeachment headwinds have not affected President Trump’s overall approval. Forty-two percent of Americans approve of his job as president and 56% disapprove, not significantly different from September, when 40% approved and 56% disapproved.

When it comes to Congress, 27% of Americans approve of its job performance compared to 71% who disapprove. There are not large differences between the views of Republicans and Democrats on Congress. Republicans are much more likely to approve Trump and disapprove Congress.

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Questions: Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as president? Overall, do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job?
Source: AP-NORC poll conducted October 24-28, 2019, with 1,075 adults nationwide.

More Americans view Trump, Vice President Pence, and Congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell unfavorably than favorably. 
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Question: For each of the following individuals, please indicate if you have an unfavorable or favorable impression of that person. If you don't know enough about the person to have an opinion, you can say that too. 
Source: AP-NORC poll conducted October 24-28, 2019, with 1,075 adults nationwide.

The nationwide poll was conducted October 24-28, 2019, using the AmeriSpeak® Panel, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago. Online and telephone interviews using landlines and cell phones were conducted with 1,075 adults. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

1 https://apnews.com/a9a0bed9f81343b7a725a9adcd84e01b

2 https://apnews.com/974dea3d24114bc98a59f537d4efbfbe