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Majority Support Allowing New Impeachment Evidence

Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020

But overall opinion of Trump and impeachment is virtually unchanged

West Long Branch, NJ – A majority of Americans say that House managers should be able to introduce new evidence in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. Most also say that Trump and members of his administration should be asked to appear at the trial, but there is a deep partisan split on whether they should be compelled to do so. The Monmouth University Poll also finds that public opinion on whether the president should be removed from office, as well as job performance ratings for Trump and congressional leaders have remained fairly stable.

A majority of Americans (57%) say the House managers should be able to present new evidence in the Senate trial to support the articles of impeachment. Another 37% say that the managers should be limited to sharing only what was revealed during the initial impeachment inquiry. Support for allowing new evidence comes from 87% of Democrats, 56% of independents, and just 24% of Republicans.

“Public opinion on allowing new evidence and compelling witness testimony in the Senate trial breaks sharply along partisan lines. But it is interesting that solid majorities in every partisan group would like to see Trump and members of his administration at least asked to appear,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Just over half of the American public (53%) approve of the House of Representatives decision to impeach Trump, while 46% disapprove. Support for the U.S. Senate actually removing Trump from office now that he has been impeached stands at 49% who agree with this, while a similar 48% say Trump should not be removed.  A different question on impeachment Monmouth had been asking prior to the House action showed support for the president’s removal at 45% in December, 44% in November and September (just after details of Trump’s call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky was revealed), and 35% in August.

“The process has now moved on to the Senate and there are some new revelations, but public opinion on impeachment and Trump’s overall performance has shifted only slightly,” said Murray.

The president’s current job rating is 43% approve and 52% disapprove. This is not significantly different from his 43% to 50% rating in December. Over the past 12 months, Trump’s approval number has ranged from 40% to 44% in Monmouth’s polling, while disapproval has ranged from 50% to 54%.

Public opinion is divided over how the House impeachment inquiry was conducted – 52% say it was generally fair and 44% say it was generally unfair. There is only slightly less confidence in how the Senate will conduct the impeachment trial – 46% say it is likely to be fair and 43% say it will be unfair.

More than 3 in 4 Americans say that Trump officials, as well as the president himself, should be invited to testify at the Senate trial. Just over half (51%) say members of the Trump administration who refused to appear before the House inquiry should actually be compelled to testify in the Senate trial.  Another 29% say they should be asked to testify but not necessarily compelled and just 16% say they should not even be asked to appear. The poll also finds that 40% feel the president himself should be compelled to testify at his impeachment trial, 36% say he should be asked but not compelled, and just 22% say he should not be asked at all.

While solid majorities feel that Trump and members of his administration should at least be asked to testify, support for compelling them to do so ranges widely by party affiliation. This includes 83% of Democrats, 48% of independents, and 21% of Republicans who say members of Trump’s administration should be compelled to appear; and 64% of Democrats, 39% of independents, and 13% of Republicans who say the same about the president himself.

As to the facts of the case, 52% of Americans say that members of the Trump administration made promises or put pressure on Zelensky in return for investigating former Vice President Joe Biden. Another 34% say they did not do this and 14% are unsure. In November, public opinion on this question stood at 45% who thought members of the administration put pressure on Zelensky and 34% who said this did not happen.

The poll also finds that a majority of Americans (55%) believe Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney, was representing Trump’s wishes when he met with Ukrainian officials about the investigation, while 21% say Giuliani was acting more on his own. In November, 54% said Giuliani was representing Trump’s wishes and 25% said he was acting on his own.

The Monmouth University Poll also finds there has been little movement in the rating of Congress or its leadership. Currently, 24% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing and 62% disapprove. Approval has ranged between 21% and 24% since the impeachment process got underway in September while disapproval has been between 62% and 68%.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi earns a 35% approve and 43% disapprove job rating, with 22% having no opinion. This is similar to her 31%-45% rating in November and 34%-45% rating in January 2019.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell earns a 21% approve and 39% disapprove rating, with 40% having no opinion. This is similar to his 15%-39% rating in November and 15%-40% rating one year ago.

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from January 16 to 20, 2020 with 903 adults in the United States.  The question results in this release have a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percentage points. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.

QUESTIONS AND RESULTS     

(* Some columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.)

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Donald Trump is doing as president?

  TREND: Jan.
2020
Dec.
2019
Nov.
2019
Sept.
2019
Aug.
2019
June
2019
May
2019
April
2019
March
2019
Jan.
2019
Approve 43% 43% 43% 41% 40% 41% 40% 40% 44% 41%
Disapprove 52% 50% 51% 53% 53% 50% 52% 54% 51% 54%
(VOL) No opinion 5% 8% 6% 6% 7% 9% 8% 6% 5% 5%
(n) (903) (903) (908) (1,161) (800) (751) (802) (801) (802) (805)
  TREND: Continued Nov.
2018
Aug.
2018
June
2018
April
2018
March
2018
Jan.
2018
Dec.
2017
Sept.
2017
Aug.
2017
July
2017
May
2017
March
2017
Approve 43% 43% 43% 41% 39% 42% 32% 40% 41% 39% 39% 43%
Disapprove 49% 50% 46% 50% 54% 50% 56% 49% 49% 52% 53% 46%
(VOL) No opinion 8% 7% 11% 9% 8% 8% 12% 11% 10% 9% 8% 11%
(n) (802) (805) (806) (803) (803) (806) (806) (1,009) (805) (800) (1,002) (801)

2. Do you approve or disapprove of the job the U.S. Congress is doing?

  TREND: Jan.
2020
Dec.
2019
Nov.
2019
Sept.
2019
Aug.
2019
June
2019
May
2019
April
2019
March
2019
Jan.
2019
Approve 24% 22% 23% 21% 17% 19% 20% 24% 23% 18%
Disapprove 62% 65% 64% 68% 71% 69% 71% 62% 68% 72%
(VOL) No opinion 14% 13% 13% 11% 13% 12% 9% 14% 9% 10%
(n) (903) (903) (908) (1,161) (800) (751) (802) (801) (802) (805)
  TREND: Continued Nov.
2018
Aug.
2018
June
2018
April
2018
March
2018
Jan.
2018
Dec.
2017
Sept.
2017
Aug.
2017
July
2017
May
2017
March
2017
Jan.
2017
Approve 23% 17% 19% 17% 18% 21% 16% 17% 18% 19% 19% 25% 23%
Disapprove 63% 69% 67% 71% 72% 68% 65% 69% 69% 70% 68% 59% 66%
(VOL) No opinion 14% 14% 14% 12% 11% 11% 19% 15% 13% 11% 13% 16% 11%
(n) (802) (805) (806) (803) (803) (806) (806) (1,009) (805) (800) (1,002) (801) (801)
  TREND: Continued Sept.
2016*
Aug.
2016*
June
2016*
March
2016
Jan.
2016
Dec.
2015
Oct.
2015
Sept.
2015
Aug.
2015
July
2015
June
2015
April
2015
Jan.
2015
Dec.
2014
July
2013
Approve 15% 14% 17% 22% 17% 16% 17% 19% 18% 18% 19% 21% 18% 17% 14%
Disapprove 77% 78% 76% 68% 73% 73% 71% 71% 72% 69% 71% 67% 70% 73% 76%
(VOL) No opinion 8% 9% 7% 10% 10% 10% 12% 11% 11% 12% 10% 12% 11% 11% 10%
(n) (802) (803) (803) (1,008) (1,003) (1,006) (1,012) (1,009) (1,203) (1,001) (1,002) (1,005) (1,003) (1,008) (1,012)

*Registered voters

3. Would you say things in the country are going in the right direction, or have they gotten off on the wrong track?

  TREND: Jan.
2020
Dec.
2019
Nov.
2019
Sept.
2019
Aug.
2019
June
2019
May
2019
April
2019
March
2019
Nov.
2018
Aug.
2018
June
2018
April
2018
March
2018
Jan.
2018
Right direction 37% 32% 30% 30% 28% 31% 29% 28% 29% 35% 35% 40% 33% 31% 37%
Wrong track 56% 56% 61% 61% 62% 62% 63% 62% 63% 55% 57% 53% 58% 61% 57%
(VOL) Depends 6% 8% 7% 6% 8% 6% 4% 7% 6% 7% 6% 3% 5% 6% 3%
(VOL) Don’t know 1% 4% 2% 2% 2% 2% 3% 3% 2% 3% 3% 3% 4% 1% 3%
(n) (903) (903) (908) (1,161) (800) (751) (802) (801) (802) (802) (805) (806) (803) (803) (806)
  TREND: Continued Dec.
2017
Aug.
2017
May
2017
March
2017
Jan.
2017
Aug.
2016*
Oct.
2015
July
2015
June
2015
April
2015
Dec.
2014
July
2013
Right direction 24% 32% 31% 35% 29% 30% 24% 28% 23% 27% 23% 28%
Wrong track 66% 58% 61% 56% 65% 65% 66% 63% 68% 66% 69% 63%
(VOL) Depends 7% 4% 5% 4% 4% 2% 6% 5% 5% 5% 5% 5%
(VOL) Don’t know 3% 5% 3% 5% 2% 3% 4% 3% 3% 2% 3% 4%
(n) (806) (805) (1,002) (801) (801) (803) (1,012) (1,001) (1,002) (1,005) (1,008) (1,012)

      *Registered voters

4. Now that he has been impeached by the House, do you think Donald Trump should or should not be removed from the presidency by the Senate?

  Jan.
2020
Yes, should 49%
No, should not 48%
(VOL) Don’t know 3%
(n) (903)

PRIOR QUESTION WORDING FOR REFERENCE:  Do you think President Trump should be impeached and compelled to leave the presidency, or not?

  TREND: Dec.
2019
Nov.
2019
Sept.
2019
Aug.
2019
June
2019
May
2019
March
2019
Nov.
2018
April
2018
Jan.
2018
July
2017
Yes, should 45% 44% 44% 35% 35% 39% 42% 36% 39% 38% 41%
No, should not 50% 51% 52% 59% 59% 56% 54% 59% 56% 57% 53%
(VOL) Don’t know 5% 4% 5% 6% 6% 5% 4% 5% 5% 4% 6%
(n) (903) (908) (1,161) (800) (751) (802) (802) (802) (803) (806) (800)

[Q5 held for future release.]

[QUESTIONS 6 & 7 WERE ROTATED]

6. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Mitch McConnell is doing as Senate Majority Leader, or do you have no opinion of him?

TREND: Jan.
2020
Nov.
2019
Jan.
2019
Nov.
2018
April
2018
July
2017
Approve 21% 15% 15% 15% 10% 12%
Disapprove 39% 39% 40% 28% 38% 38%
No opinion 40% 46% 45% 57% 52% 49%
(n) (903) (908) (805) (802) (803) (800)

7. Do you approve or disapprove of the job Nancy Pelosi is doing as Speaker of the House, or do you have no opinion of her?

TREND: Jan.
2020
Nov.
2019
Jan.
2019
Nov.
2018*
April
2018*
July
2017*
Approve 35% 31% 34% 17% 17% 17%
Disapprove 43% 45% 45% 38% 44% 42%
No opinion 22% 24% 21% 45% 39% 41%
(n) (903) (908) (805) (802) (803) (800)

*Question wording was: “as House Minority Leader?”

[Q8-19 held for future release.]

20. Do you approve or disapprove of the House of Representatives decision to impeach President Trump?

  Jan.
2020
Approve 53%
Disapprove 46%
(VOL) Don’t know 1%
(n) (903)

21. Do you feel the way the House impeachment inquiry was conducted was generally fair or unfair?

  Jan.
2020
Fair 52%
Unfair 44%
(VOL) Don’t know 4%
(n) (903)

22. Do you feel the way the Senate impeachment trial is likely to be conducted will be generally fair or unfair?

  Jan.
2020
Fair 46%
Unfair 43%
(VOL) Don’t know 11%
(n) (903)

23. Should House impeachment managers be able to present new evidence in the Senate trial to support the articles of impeachment, or should they be limited to sharing only what was revealed during the initial impeachment inquiry?

  Jan.
2020
Present new evidence 57%
Limit to what was in inquiry 37%
(VOL) Depends 1%
(VOL) Don’t know 5%
(n) (903)

24. Some members of the Trump administration refused to testify in the House inquiry.  Should they be compelled to testify in the Senate trial, should they be asked to testify but not compelled, or should they not be asked at all?

  Jan.
2020
Compelled 51%
Asked, but not compelled 29%
Not asked 16%
(VOL) Don’t know 5%
(n) (903)

25. Should President Trump be compelled to testify in the Senate trial, should he be asked to testify but not compelled, or should he not be asked at all?

  Jan.
2020
Compelled 40%
Asked, but not compelled 36%
Not asked 22%
(VOL) Don’t know 2%
(n) (903)

26. Do you think members of the Trump administration made any promises or put any pressure on the Ukrainian president in return for investigating Joe Biden, such as giving or withholding aid, or did they not do this?

TREND: Jan.
2020
Nov.
2019
Yes, made promises/put pressure 52% 45%
No, did not do this 34% 34%
(VOL) Don’t know 14% 21%
(n) (903) (908)

27. When Rudy Giuliani met with Ukrainian officials about the investigation, do you think he was representing the wishes of President Trump, or was he acting more on his own?

TREND: Jan.
2020
Nov.
2019
Representing Trump 55% 54%
More on his own 21% 25%
(VOL) Both 7% 3%
(VOL) Don’t know 17% 17%
(n) (903) (908)

METHODOLOGY

The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from January 16 to 20, 2020 with a national random sample of 903 adults age 18 and older. This includes 363 contacted by a live interviewer on a landline telephone and 540 contacted by a live interviewer on a cell phone, in English. Telephone numbers were selected through random digit dialing and landline respondents were selected with a modified Troldahl-Carter youngest adult household screen. Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis. The full sample is weighted for region, age, education, gender and race based on US Census information (CPS 2018 supplement). Data collection support provided by Braun Research (field) and Dynata (RDD sample). For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points (unadjusted for sample design). Sampling error can be larger for sub-groups (see table below). In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

DEMOGRAPHICS (weighted)
Self-Reported
27% Republican
42% Independent
32% Democrat
 
49% Male
51% Female
 
30% 18-34
34% 35-54
36% 55+
 
64% White
13% Black
16% Hispanic
  8% Asian/Other
 
68% No degree
32% 4 year degree
  

Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and crosstabs by key demographic groups.

Download this Poll Report with crosstabs

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