Poll: a majority of Americans think House Democrats right to open Trump impeachment inquiry

William Cummings, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – A majority of Americans think House Democrats were right to open an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, according to a Washington Post-Shar School poll published Tuesday. 

By a margin of 58-38%, respondents said Congress should have begun the impeachment inquiry. Forty-three percent were "strongly" in favor, while 29% were "strongly" opposed. 

Last month, congressional Democrats announced the probe in response to a whistleblower's complaint that alleged Trump leveraged military aid to pressure Ukraine into investigating Vice President Joe Biden, one of his chief Democratic rivals in the 2020 election. 

Sixty-two percent said asking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, was inappropriate – 43% said it was "very inappropriate" and 17% said "somewhat inappropriate." Thirty-two percent felt it was appropriate.

Fifty-eight percent thought it mattered that Trump held back military aid ahead of requesting the investigation – 38% said it mattered "a great deal" and 20% said it mattered "a good amount." Thirty-seven percent said that it mattered "not so much" or "not at all." 

About half of the respondents (49%) said Trump should be removed from office.

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The poll's results indicate a shift in public opinion toward impeachment since the whistleblower's allegations became public. In July, a Post-ABC News poll found that only 37% of Americans thought Democrats should begin impeachment proceedings, with 59% saying they should not. A Post-Shar School poll in April also found only 37% supported impeachment proceedings 

A USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll published Thursday found Americans support a vote by the House of Representatives to impeach President Donald Trump by a 45%-38% plurality. And by a margin of 44%-35%, those surveyed say the Senate, which would then be charged with holding a trial of the president, should convict Trump and remove him from office.

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The Washington Post-Shar School poll found Americans were about split on how Democrats have handled the issue, with 49% saying they approve and 44% saying they disapprove. Fifty-six percent said they disapproved of Republicans' response to the impeachment inquiry and 33% said they approved. 

Sixty-one percent said Democrats were "making a necessary stand against Trump’s actions." When asked if they were overreacting, 41% said yes, and 55% said no. Fifty percent said they were "distracting Congress from more important issues," while 46% said they were not. 

Six in ten said that Trump does not uphold adequate standards for ethics in government, while 35% said he does. When asked if Biden would uphold such standards if he became president, 47% said he would and 38% said he would not. 

The poll was conducted from Oct. 1-6 from among a sample of 1,007 adults, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5%. 

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump impeachment: Support for inquiry grows to 58%, poll finds