Hunter Biden's indictment gets more support than the impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden

Taylor OrthDirector of Survey Data Journalism
Carl BialikU.S. Politics Editor and Vice President of Data Science
September 21, 2023, 5:59 PM GMT+0

While most Americans approve of a recent indictment of Hunter Biden, significantly fewer are supportive of an impeachment inquiry recently opened into his father, President Joe Biden, related to alleged financial connections to Hunter. A new poll by the Economist/YouGov finds that far more Americans believe Hunter profited off of his father's position than believe his father profited from his son's dealings. More broadly, however, majorities of Americans believe that the four most recent presidents — Biden, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and George W. Bush — financially benefited at least a fair amount from their positions while in office.

Few Americans (12%) have even a somewhat favorable opinion of Joe Biden’s son Hunter. Nearly half of Democrats (47%) and nearly all Republicans (92%) have a very or somewhat unfavorable view of him. Hunter Biden's recent indictment on charges stemming from a gun purchase in 2018 is strongly or somewhat approved of by 60% of Americans and disapproved of by just 18%.

The Republican-led impeachment inquiry into President Biden receives less support, though more approve than disapprove of it, including 15% of Democrats and 84% of Republicans. But Americans are slightly more likely to view the inquiry as politically motivated (35%) rather than as a serious attempt to find out the truth (30%).

When the House of Representatives opened its first impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump in 2019, our polling found that Americans approved by a similar margin (46% to 42%).

The allegations that prompted the impeachment inquiry into President Biden relate to his purported involvement in his son's business dealings. Although 46% believe Joe Biden personally profited from Hunter’s business deals, far more (67%) believe his son profited from his father’s positions.

To put views on Biden in perspective, the survey also asked Americans to evaluate the extent to which he and the three presidents who preceded him profited from their positions. Majorities think that each of the last four presidents benefited financially at least a fair amount while holding office. The shares who believe three of them — Biden, Obama, and Trump — benefited "a great deal” are at least 40%. Fewer say the same of Bush.

See the toplines and crosstabs from the Economist/YouGov poll conducted on September 17 - 19, 2023 among 1,500 U.S. adult citizens.

Methodology: Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel using sample matching. A random sample (stratified by gender, age, race, education, geographic region, and voter registration) was selected from the 2019 American Community Survey. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, education, 2020 election turnout and presidential vote, baseline party identification, and current voter registration status. Demographic weighting targets come from the 2019 American Community Survey. Baseline party identification is the respondent’s most recent answer given prior to November 1, 2022, and is weighted to the estimated distribution at that time (33% Democratic, 31% Republican). The margin of error for the overall sample is approximately 3%.

Image: Getty