A majority of Americans say that President Trump’s actions regarding Ukraine are a serious matter and merit an impeachment inquiry by Congress, but a plurality says that, based on what they know now, the president shouldn’t be removed from office, a new Wall Street Journal poll finds.

The survey suggests that the public is closely following House Democrats’ investigation but isn’t convinced that Trump should lose his job over accusations that he misused his office by pressuring Ukraine to investigate a political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Trump says he has done nothing wrong.

Some 55% of poll participants said Congress should take up the Ukraine matter, with 31% supporting the House impeachment inquiry that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched last month and an additional 24% saying enough evidence exists already for lawmakers to remove Trump from office.

By contrast, 39% said Congress shouldn’t hold an impeachment inquiry and should allow Trump to finish his term as president.

Those results represented an increased call for congressional action compared with the period when then-special counsel Robert Mueller was looking into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Throughout that time, about 50% had said impeachment hearings against Trump were unwarranted.

Presented in a separate question with just two options—impeaching Trump and removing him from office, or doing neither—some 43% said lawmakers should push Trump from office, while 49% said they shouldn’t do so, based on what the public knows now.

Pollsters who conducted the Journal/NBC News survey said it showed that Americans want to learn more about Trump’s actions, but they disagreed over how the public viewed the matter so far.

Bill McInturff, a Republican pollster, noted that Trump’s job approval rating remained stable.

In the new survey, 43% of Americans approved of the president’s overall job performance, in line with the trend throughout his time in office.

“What’s powerful about this poll is what has not changed… At this time, this is not a story that has fundamentally reset American politics,” he said.

Jeff Horwitt, a Democrat who conducted the survey with McInturff, found it meaningful that more Americans support an impeachment inquiry or impeachment itself now than during the course of the Mueller investigation.

“It shows more openness to hearing this out,” Horwitt said.

Moreover, he said, the poll found signs of “dry kindling” that could fuel support for impeachment.

While 43% support impeachment now, an additional 12% of Americans disapprove of Trump’s job performance but don’t support removing him from office.

This group could prove problematic for the president, Horwitt said, as 76% disagree with the idea that he has been honest and truthful in the Ukraine matter and 88% have an unfavorable view of the president personally.

Views of Trump’s actions and the House investigation divide sharply by party.

Some 84% of Democrats say the accusations against Trump are serious and merit investigation, while 78% of Republicans agree with the statement that the accusations are “more of the same politically motivated attacks.’’

Views of whether Trump deserves impeachment are similarly partisan.

Independents view the accusations more as serious than politically motivated, 51% to 42%.

But asked about impeachment, some 45% of independents oppose removing Trump from office, with 39% backing impeachment and removal.


Attribution:The Wall Street Journal
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