An updating calculation of support for and opposition to impeachment, accounting for each poll’s quality, recency, sample size and partisan lean, since Aug. 1, 2018
Now that House Democrats are holding an official inquiry into allegations that President Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, FiveThirtyEight is following how public opinion responds with this preliminary impeachment polling tracker.
Support for impeachment by party
An updating calculation of support for impeachment by party, accounting for each poll’s quality, recency, sample size and partisan lean, since Aug. 1, 2018
In addition to tracking the polling averages for and against impeachment among all Americans, which you can see in the chart above, we are also keeping tabs on how opinion breaks down along party lines. As you can see below, Democrats are strongly in favor of impeachment, Republicans are strongly opposed and independents hover somewhere in between.
To be clear, this is something we plan to build on in the coming weeks because there’s a lot we still don’t know. For example, will pollsters start phrasing questions about support for impeachment differently? And will that affect our averages? We’re not sure yet, but we’ll adjust as we go. For now we’re calculating these averages similarly to how we handle presidential approval ratings, which means we’re accounting for the quality of the pollster and each pollster’s house effects (whether they seem to yield unusually good or bad numbers for impeachment compared with the polling consensus). However, measuring public opinion on impeachment comes with some added curveballs. For one thing, pollsters often phrase questions about impeachment differently, which can affect responses. For another, the impeachment process itself is complicated — opening an impeachment inquiry was the beginning of a process that could eventually lead to Trump’s removal from office, but only after a bunch of intermediary steps — and many Americans don’t fully understand it. We haven’t taken these challenges lightly; indeed, we carefully weighed how to handle them methodologically, and in the name of transparency, we’re sharing our decisions with you.