Impeachment acquittal leaves many dissatisfied with the process

February 07, 2020, 8:30 PM GMT+0

As the inevitable acquittal of President Donald Trump in the Senate impeachment trial neared, Americans in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll remained almost evenly divided in their opinions of the House of Representatives vote and on whether the President should be removed from office. However, having now seen and heard about the Senate trial, the public did not think it was well-handled and did not think it was fair and unbiased (46%).

Republicans, of course, are more likely to find the trial fair and unbiased (48%). But one in three (35%) Republicans say it was not, a figure that rose nine points in the last week.

One decision the Republican Senate majority made was to not call any witnesses (all prior Senate impeachment trials have done so). The public wanted them: nearly half, 47 percent, say the Senate should have called additional witnesses, while just under a third disagree (31%). Nearly two in three (62%) Republicans are content with the lack of witnesses. But 17 percent would have called additional witnesses.

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One of those witnesses surely would have been John Bolton, the former National Security Advisor. Neither Republicans nor Democrats have a favorable image of Bolton: Democrats are unfavorable by 44 percent to 27 percent, while even more Republicans dislike him. Only 15 percent of Republicans view Bolton favorably, and 51 percent view him unfavorably.

That leaves the President facing a public that is more likely to believe that he did, in fact, try to trade military aid to Ukraine for an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter (48% to 31%), and that he did obstruct Congressional inquiries (46% to 36%). However, one in seven of those who agree that he did these things do not think he should have been impeached.

Looking ahead to the election, 39 percent of registered voters say they would vote to re-elect the President, but currently 48 percent would vote for the (unnamed) Democratic candidate. However, the President has one advantage: the public perception that he will win. One in two (52%) registered voters expect him to emerge victorious in the election.

Only 2 percent of the voters supporting the President think he will lose; 12 percent of those voting Democratic think the President will win.

Read the full topline and crosstabs from this week’s Economist/YouGov poll here

Image: Getty