Nearly half of Americans believe there is clear evidence Russia interfered in the 2016 election
WASHINGTON – The proportion of Americans who support impeaching President Trump and removing him from office has increased 10 percentage points in the last six months, a new PRRI poll finds. Four in ten (40%) Americans now believe the president should be impeached and removed from office. Just six months ago, only 30% of Americans expressed support for impeachment.
Much of the increase is due to a jump in favor of impeachment among Democrats—from 58% in February to 72% today—and independents—from 27% to 38%. However, only 7% of Republicans currently believe the president should be impeached and removed from office, a number virtually unchanged since February.
This shift comes as nearly half of Americans (48%) believe there is clear evidence Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election to help the Trump campaign. These views differ sharply by party: 80% of Democrats but only 20% of Republicans agree that Russia interfered.
There are also notable educational differences among white Americans in views about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. White college-educated Americans are much more likely than whites without a college degree to say Russia intervened in the election to help Trump’s campaign (58% vs. 36%, respectively).
“As the Russia investigation continues, President Trump is increasingly losing support from white college-educated Americans, who remain critical for future Republican victories,” said Robert P. Jones, CEO of PRRI. “Roughly four in ten (39%) white college-educated Americans now favor impeaching the president, up from 24% in February. And nearly six in ten (58%) white college-educated Americans believe Russia interfered in the 2016 election to help Trump’s campaign.”
The survey also found a gaping gender divide in views about impeachment. Nearly half of women (47%) say the president should be impeached and removed from office, compared to slightly less than one-third (32%) of men. In February, only 35% of women said the president should be impeached.
“Opposition to President Trump among women is solidifying,” noted PRRI Research Director Dan Cox. “On the question of impeachment, the gender gap has widened considerably. Many women gave the president the benefit of the doubt in February, but they are no longer doing so.”
Americans remain divided over whether Trump has acted in ways that violate the U.S. Constitution. Approximately half (49%) of the public believes Trump has violated the Constitution, while nearly as many (43%) disagree. Notably, there has been virtually no shift in views about whether Trump violated the Constitution over the past six months. In February, close to half (47%) of Americans said Trump had violated the Constitution.
President Trump is markedly less popular than former Republican presidents George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. Fewer than four in ten (38%) Americans report a favorable view of President Trump, and 56% of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of him. By contrast, majorities of Americans hold favorable views of President George W. Bush (53%) and President Ronald Reagan (65%). Republicans hold all three Republican presidents in high regard: 79% of Republicans have a favorable opinion of President Trump, while more than eight in ten have favorable views for Bush (85%) and Reagan (91%).
Views on Russia
Americans express generally negative feelings about Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Nearly six in ten (58%) Americans express an unfavorable opinion of Russia, while only one-quarter (25%) have a positive view. These views have grown only slightly more negative since 2013, when 54% of the public reported feeling unfavorably toward Russia.
Today a majority sees Russia as either an enemy (24%) or as unfriendly (31%). These views track with political affiliation. And though nearly half of Republicans believe Russia is an enemy (18%) or unfriendly (31%) country, two-thirds of Democrats say it is either an enemy (37%) or unfriendly (30%) country. Similarly, 43% of Republicans see Russia as an allied or friendly country, a belief shared by only 28% of Democrats.
The topline, full methodology, and additional findings and analysis can be found here: https://www.prri.org/research/poll-trump-russia-investigation-impeachment-republican-party/
The survey was designed and conducted by PRRI. The survey was made possible by generous grants from The Arcus Foundation, The Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, The Gill Foundation, and The Nathan Cummings Foundation. Results of the survey were based on bilingual (Spanish and English) RDD telephone interviews conducted between August 2, 2017, and August 8, 2017, by professional interviewers under the direction of SSRS. Interviews were conducted among a random sample of 2,024 adults 18 years of age or older living in the United States (1,206 respondents were interviewed on a cell phone). The margin of error for the survey is +/- 2.7 percentage points at the 95% level of confidence. The design effect for the survey is 1.5.
PRRI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization specializing in research at the intersection of religion, values, and public life.