Days after President Donald Trump was acquitted in his Senate trial, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll has revealed what Americans think about the acquittal. By a small margin, a plurality of Americans believe that Donald Trump deserved to be acquitted.
Asked if they support or oppose the Senate’s decision to acquit Trump, 43 percent of poll respondents said that the Senate made the right decision in acquitting the 45th president of the charges against him, while 41 percent say they opposed the Senate’s decision. A significant number — 17 percent — say they are undecided about the issue.
As has typically been the case when it comes to Trump-related issues in polling, there was a significant partisan divide in the results. Among poll respondents who identified as Republicans, 80 percent believe the Senate returned the correct verdict, while among Democrats, only 13 percent do. However, the numbers of those on both sides of the aisle are reasonably close: 12 percent of Democrats say they aren’t sure if the Senate made the correct decision, while seven percent of Republicans say the same thing.
Meanwhile, another means of “punishing” Donald Trump, apart from impeaching him and removing him from office, is on the table for Congressional Democrats: censuring him. Such an outcome would have no practical effect on either Trump or Congress, but the resolution of harsh criticism has been employed before in American governance and could be employed against Trump.
Poll respondents didn’t seem to be particularly excited about this potential outcome, however; just 13 percent support censuring him for Obstruction of Congress, and 14 percent support censuring him for Abuse of Power, if they were in a position to cast such a vote.
Putting aside the general public’s feelings about the impeachment process itself, it does appear that a plurality of Americans think Trump did something wrong. When asked, “Considering the Senate’s acquittal of President Trump, which of the following comes closest to your opinion about the situation?” 39 percent said that Trump is probably innocent of the charges against him, while 48 percent say that he is probably guilty of the charges against him.
Again, the partisan divide that is present in these types of polls was apparent: 12 percent of Democrats believe Trump is probably innocent, while 80 percent of Republicans said he was probably innocent.
Looking to the future, it’s a toss-up as to whether or not Americans believe that the entire impeachment ordeal hurts Democrats’ chances in 2020. By a slim margin, 45 percent of Americans either “somewhat agree” or “strongly agree” that the process hurt Democrats, while 42 percent either “somewhat disagree” or “strongly disagree.”