Poll Also Shows American Attitudes Split on U.S. Policies in the Middle East
A growing number of Americans on both sides of the political aisle support the impeachment of President Donald Trump, a new survey released this week by the shows.
Prior to the release of a White House memo summarizing President Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, 35% of the 1,260 respondents polled Oct. 4–10 said they supported impeachment; after its release, the number grew to 50%. That included a shift among 8% of Republicans and 27% of Democrats.
A large majority of respondents (68%) said that a U.S. president inviting foreign interference in U.S. elections is an impeachable offense. At the same time, a smaller majority (52%) believe that Trump had in fact invited such foreign influence.
Moreover, respondents who were more familiar with the contents of the memo were more likely to believe that President Trump engaged in a quid pro quo. This held true for Republicans as well as Democrats.
“These findings not only confirm the shifts on impeachment that other polls have been showing, but also suggest that as more information is brought to light, there is potential for further change in public opinion ahead,” said Professor Shibley Telhami, director of the poll.
One voter bloc remains relatively undecided about whether President Trump invited foreign interference, said Associate Professor Stella Rouse, associate director of the poll.
“As more facts are revealed, independent voters have more room to move on the issue of impeachment, compared to both Democrats and Republicans who are more entrenched in their opinions about the president and his actions.”
Two recent Critical Issues Polls measured American public opinion on a range of recent events in the Middle East, including the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, the Saudi oil field attacks and U.S. military involvement in Iran and Afghanistan.
- Less than a quarter of all respondents (24%) said they supported Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces from northern Syria. Only 8% of Democrats supported the president’s decision, compared to 42% of Republicans. Of those who opposed the move, 66% were Democrats and 23% were Republicans
- While a UMCIP survey was being fielded from September 3-20, an attack took place on Saudi oil fields, setting up a unique opportunity to measure the impact of the event on American attitudes toward Iran, which U.S. authorities and several allies implicated in the attack. Before the aerial attack by drones, 39% of Americans said they thought the odds of the U.S. going to war with Iran were higher than they were three years ago. Afterward, that number grew to 51%. Meanwhile, overall disapproval with the U.S.’s involvement in Iran grew from 51% to 57%.
- Sixty-one percent of Americans supported the decreased U.S. military presence in Afghanistan, including 71% of Republicans and 53% of Democrats. A plurality of Americans (38%) said that America’s military involvement in Afghanistan was neither successful nor unsuccessful, with equal percentages of Republicans and Democrats answering this way.
- Americans did not agree on whether it was a mistake to send U.S. troops to Afghanistan in 2001: 47% of Democrats and 27% of Republicans called it a mistake, while 49% of Republicans and 29% of Democrats said it was the correct choice. In addition, Democrats (60%) were twice as likely as Republicans (30%) to say that the U.S. has an obligation toward the Afghan government and citizens impacted by the intervention, regardless of whether it was justified or not. A plurality of Americans (44%) agreed that the U.S. has an obligation to the country.
About the Survey Methodology
September 2019: The survey was carried out September 3-20, 2019 online from a nationally representative sample of Nielsen Scarborough's probability-based panel, originally recruited by mail and telephone using a random sample of adults provided by Survey Sampling International. The poll was conducted among a national poll of 3,016 respondents, with a margin of error of +/- 1.78%. Overall, the sample was adjusted to reflect population estimates (Scarborough USA+/Gallup) for Americans. The survey variables balanced through weighting were: age, gender, race/ethnicity, household income, level of education, census regional division, and political party affiliation.
October 2019: The survey was carried out October 4-10, 2019 online from a nationally representative sample of Nielsen Scarborough's probability-based panel, originally recruited by mail and telephone using a random sample of adults provided by Survey Sampling International. The poll was conducted among a national poll of 1,260 respondents (958 for the Syria question), with a margin of error of +/- 2.76%. Overall, the sample was adjusted to reflect population estimates (Scarborough USA+/Gallup) for Americans. The survey variables balanced through weighting were: age, gender, race/ethnicity, household income, level of education, census regional division, and political party affiliation.
About the UMD Critical Issues Poll
probes domestic and international issues that are central for our policy discourse. Professor Shibley Telhami serves as the director of the Critical Issues Poll and Associate Professor Stella Rouse serves as its associate director.