A new poll released Tuesday by CNN and the independent research firm SSRS finds that half of all American adults now want Donald Trump impeached and ultimately removed from office, according to a Vox report. The poll was the second of the day that showed 50 percent support for impeaching and removing Trump, after a Politico/Morning Consult survey also released Tuesday.
Those polls show more than double the number of Americans who wanted to see former President Bill Clinton impeached and removed in 1998. Clinton was impeached by what was then a Republican-controlled House of Representatives over an alleged lie about his sexual affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, as well as an obstruction of justice charge.
But when the Senate — in which Republicans held a 55-45 majority — staged a trial to remove Clinton, not only did the vote fail to get the required 67 senators in favor of removal, a majority of 55 also voted to acquit the president on the charge of lying under oath. On the obstruction charge, the Senate was split 50-50, again falling well short of the 67 required to convict, according to History.com.
In CNN polling taken in February 1998, when the Senate trial of Clinton was taking place, only 19 percent of Americans said that they wanted to see the 42nd president removed from office as a result of his impeachment.
That’s less than half the number who want Trump removed today, according to the current CNN poll.
The CNN and Morning Consult polls are the first taken after two weeks of televised hearings in the House impeachment inquiry into whether Trump abused the power of his office.
According to witness testimony and the allegations against him, Trump tried to strong-arm the government of Ukraine into announcing an investigation of leading 2020 Democratic candidate Joe Biden. This was allegedly by withholding badly needed military aid from the country, which is currently in a border war against a Russian invasion.
In a CNN poll taken last month — after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s initial announcement of the impeachment inquiry, but before any televised hearings — 50 percent also favored Trump’s removal through such methods. But while the hearings appear not to have convinced many Americans to switch from opposing the president’s removal to favoring it, the number who want to see Trump taken out office continues to far exceed the percentage who wanted Clinton removed.
In Clinton’s case, the high watermark in CNN polling came six months after the Senate voted to acquit him — this was when 29 percent said that he should be removed from office by impeachment. But even that number is only slightly more than half of the total who want to see Trump gone at the end of the current impeachment proceedings.