New internal polling from a progressive advocacy group shows support among voters for Congress to pursue impeachement should Robert Mueller’s investigation into President Donald Trump’s campaign and administration unearth evidence of wrongdoing.
Stand Up America, the liberal group that released the polling, said the data demonstrates Republicans will face backlash if they attack Mueller’s probe.
“Despite attacks by President Trump and his allies on Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the investigation he is leading, a new survey shows the public believes Russia meddled in the 2016 election, is concerned about it, and is prepared to support Trump’s impeachment if the investigation produces evidence of illegality,” wrote Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, the Democratic polling firm.
Stand Up America, which purports to have 2 million members, told McClatchy it was not arguing that Democrats should embrace impeachment politics. The new polling could, however, fuel the debate now dividing the party between a focus on pocketbook issues in 2018 or a campaign that pushes social issues and reacts to Trump.
Ever since the disappointment of the 2016 presidential race, Democrats have engaged in a rollicking argument over what issues the party should emphasize as it tries to take back some of the ground loss to Republicans over the course of successive recent elections. Most Democratic leaders have argued that middle-class issues should be at the forefront, though others in the party say ignoring sensitive cultural issues – or passing up on the opportunity to paint Trump as a criminal – threatens to hold the party back.
The Stand Up America memo included internal polling data from the Democratic firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner. The poll surveyed 1,001 registered voters.
One question asked how voters would feel about their member of Congress attacking the investigation if it eventually found evidence of wrongdoing by Trump or one of his associates. Sixty-four percent of respondents said they would be less likely to support the incumbent, including 71 percent of independents. Even 58 percent of Republicans said it would make them less likely, according to the poll.
It’s unknown if Mueller’s investigation will conclude before November, and if it does, what evidence of wrongdoing it will show, if any. Many Democratic strategists, however, expect the special counsel will at least announce major developments in the investigation — what could be a major moment for most campaigns in the midterm election.
If Mueller does return with evidence of Trump team collusion with Russia or obstruction of justice from Trump or his associates, the poll found that a strong majority of the public would favor impeachment. Exactly how much support would depend on the charges: The survey found that if Trump was found to be personally involved in colluding, 65 percent of voters would support impeachment.
If an associate of Trump’s, but not the president himself, is found to have obstructed justice, support for impeachment drops to 58 percent.
“The survey suggests voters would also turn strongly against the President if the investigation produces evidence of illegal actions by Trump or his team, with little variability depending on the details of the crimes,” the Stand Up America memo states.
The poll also reported that large majorities of voters have “serious concerns” about some of his advisers meeting with officials tied to the Kremlin at Trump Tower or Trump’s interest in lifting sanctions against Russia.
Even if Democrats agree to focus on jobs and the economy, few in the party agree that they’ll be able to stay on message as the Russia investigation unfolds to dominate headlines — or as Trump responds to it.