This article originally appeared on VICE US
WASHINGTON — A growing number of Americans back impeachment in the wake of recent bombshell revelations about President Trump’s conversation with Ukraine’s president, according to a handful of new polls.
Quinnipiac University’s national poll, released Monday afternoon, found registered voters evenly divided on whether President Trump should be impeached and removed from office, at 47% for and 47% against. That’s a 20-point net shift in just one week from Quinnipiac's last survey, when just 37% said he should be impeached vs. 57% who said he shouldn’t.
That same poll also found a narrow majority of those voters, 50% to 45%, supported the House opening an impeachment inquiry.
Those numbers, along with other reputable national surveys released after a tumultuous week, show a pattern of growing support for impeachment. As recently as a week ago, the same pollsters had found voters opposed that option by double-digit margins. That was before a whistleblower’s report alleged a number of potential crimes Trump may have committed when asking Ukraine’s president onJuly 25 for help investigating former Vice President Joe Biden — and also before the House launched a formal impeachment inquiry, on Sept. 24.
An SSRS poll conducted for CNN and released Monday afternoon found 47% of registered voters support Trump’s impeachment and removal with 45% opposed. That’s a flip from 41% in support to 54% opposed in CNN’s last survey, back in May.
A Reuters/Ipsos online poll released Monday found that 45% of Americans said Trump “should be impeached,” compared to 41% saying he shouldn’t. Only 37% had supported impeachment in their last poll just a few days earlier, with 45% opposing it.
Another poll released Sunday by CBS and YouGov that found a majority of Americans, 55% to 45%, support an impeachment inquiry.
And a Politico/Morning Consult poll released last Thursday also saw a rise in support for impeachment—with registered voters divided at 43% apiece — a 13-point net swing since their poll just the weekend before.
Who’s changing their minds?
The biggest swing in Quinnipiac’s numbers came from Democrats, who have coalesced hard around their party’s position since the House formally began an impeachment inquiry: Only 5% oppose impeachment now, down from 21% in last week’s Quinnipiac poll.
But a notable shift also occurred among independents, who now narrowly support the inquiry by 50% to 45%. Only 42% of independents support removing Trump from office at this point compared to 50% who oppose, but that’s much closer than just a week ago, when 34% supported it and 58% opposed it.
Quinnipiac found little movement among Republicans, but CNN’s numbers told a different story: 14% of Republicans now say they support impeachment and removal of Trump, up from 8% in May. That may be a bit of statistical noise, but if Republicans start splitting from the president, that’s a big deal.
Still, it’s far from clear where things are headed politically, procedurally, or legally when it comes to impeachment. This is a fast-moving story, as shown by last night’s news that Trump and Attorney General William Barr have sought help from foreign governments in their investigation to discredit Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
And while these are quality polls, the complicated question of impeachment is a difficult one to survey accurately because of the nuanced difference between impeachment and removal. Voters also might not respond at the same rate in the wake of major news developments, which could potentially skew the numbers.
But the past week shows that as the facts on the ground continue to rapidly change, so do the views of voters.
Cover image: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., committed Tuesday to launching a formal impeachment inquiry against Trump. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)