Backing for Trump’s Removal Ties Record Low Amid Senate Trial

Record-high 45 percent say they’d disapprove of the Senate convicting Trump
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) leaves the Senate Chamber during a recess in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 21, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
January 22, 2020 at 12:01 am UTC

Key Takeaways

  • 47% say they’d approve of the Senate's removing Trump from office, which ties a Morning Consult record low.

  • 57% say the chamber should hear from additional witnesses.

  • 43% approve of Democrats’ handling of impeachment vs. 38% who said the same of Republicans.

With the Senate’s impeachment trial over the fate of President Donald Trump underway in earnest, a new Morning Consult/Politico survey finds voters more closely divided than ever on whether the president should be removed from office.

The Jan. 17-19 poll found 47 percent of registered voters would approve if the Senate removed Trump from office, tying a Morning Consult record low, while a record-high 45 percent said they’d disapprove of his removal. The gap between the two figures is within the survey’s 2-percentage-point margin of error.

Eighty-four percent of Democrats back Trump’s ouster, and 88 percent of Republicans oppose removing him from office -- a Morning Consult record high. Independents were split, with 43 percent approving and 43 percent disapproving.

While Trump’s acquittal at the end of the trial is not believed to be in doubt given Republicans’ 53-seat majority, the question of whether the Senate proceedings will include additional testimony is still an open one. The latest survey found the public firmly on the side of Senate Democrats, who are hoping to ask current and former administration officials about Trump’s alleged withholding of aid from Ukraine’s government. Republicans voted Tuesday night along party lines, 53-47, in denying Democrats' efforts to subpoena acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security adviser John Bolton.

Fifty-seven percent of voters back hearing additional testimony during the trial, compared with 24 percent who say the Senate should not call additional witnesses to testify. The backing for more witnesses is up 3 points since Morning Consult first asked the question in December, while opposition is down 3 points since then.

As impeachment moves toward its final phase, the survey finds both Democrats and Republicans in Congress underwater with the public when it comes to their handling of proceedings, although they’re slightly more bearish on the latter. Forty-six percent of voters disapproved of how congressional Democrats and Republicans have handled impeachment, while 43 percent approved of Democrats’ handling and 38 percent said the same of Republicans.

A headshot photograph of Cameron Easley
Cameron Easley
Lead U.S. Politics Analyst

Cameron Easley is Morning Consult’s lead analyst for U.S. politics. Prior to moving into his current role, he led Morning Consult's editorial coverage of U.S. politics and elections from 2016 through 2022. Cameron joined Morning Consult from Roll Call, where he was managing editor. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Follow him on Twitter @cameron_easley. Interested in connecting with Cameron to discuss his analysis or for a media engagement or speaking opportunity? Email [email protected].

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