Support for Trump impeachment rises as 59% say he pursued personal interests in Ukraine, poll finds

USA Today Politics 2 weeks ago

WASHINGTON – Support for the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump's dealings in Ukraine continue to grow, as does support for his removal from office, a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found. 

A 55% percent majority of registered voters said they approved of the inquiry, while 43% said they disapproved. A week ago, 51% of voters said they approved and 45% disapproved. Quinnipiac has found support for the inquiry to be in the low-50% range since it was announced at the end of September

The poll found that slightly less than half of Americans support impeaching Trump and removing him from office, though support for such a move has been trending up since the inquiry began.

Currently, 48% support Trump's removal. That is two percentage points higher than last week and 11 points higher than on Sept. 25. 

But opinions on impeachment continue to divide sharply along party lines. Only 10% of Republican voters approve of the inquiry while 88% disapprove, and just 6% think Trump should be removed. By contrast, 93% of Democrats approve of the inquiry while 7% disapprove, and 86% think Trump should be removed. 

Among independents, 58% supported the inquiry and 37% opposed it. And 49% of independents favored removing Trump from office, while 41% opposed it. 

A CNN poll released Tuesday found 50% of Americans think Trump should be removed from office, up from September when support for his removal was at 47%.

Trump is accused of withholding military aid to Ukraine to pressure the country into investigating allegations related to former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, and a theory that Ukraine was involved in 2016 election meddling. 

The president has denied there was any "quid pro quo" with Ukraine and that his focus was on combating corruption in that country before handing over aid. But only 33% of voters said they believe Trump was acting in the national interest compared with 59% who believe he was pursuing his personal interests there. 

"Republicans remain rock solid in opposing both the impeachment of President Trump and the House impeachment inquiry. But when it comes to the president's motives in Ukraine, Republicans aren't all on the same page. Roughly 7 in 10 Republicans say the president was pursuing the national interest in his dealings with Ukraine. The rest say he was pursuing his own personal interest or they don't know," said Quinnipiac University polling analyst Mary Snow.

Thirty-eight percent of respondents said they approved of the job Trump is doing as president, his lowest mark with Quinnipiac since August. Fifty-eight percent said they disapproved, his highest mark since July 2018. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., had a higher job approval rating than the president at 45%, while 47% expressed disapproval. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's job approval was at 24% and his disapproval was at 57%, 

"President Trump's overall job approval rating inches lower against a backdrop of intensifying scrutiny, the House impeachment inquiry and criticism over his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria," Snow said. "A majority of Americans disapprove of his decision to remove U.S. military support from the Kurds, which includes about 3 in 10 Republicans."

Fifty-seven percent of voters said Trump is making the world a less safe place, while 36% said he was making it safer. Fifty-two percent said Trump had weakened the U.S. standing as leader of the free world, while a third said he had strengthened it and 11% said he had not affected it. 

The poll was conducted from Oct. 17-21 with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1%. 

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