Trump impeachment: Majority of Americans now support House inquiry, signalling rapid shift in public opinion

Clark Mindock
AFP via Getty Images

There is growing support for the decision to open an impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump, with a majority now saying they approve.

A new poll is the latest survey to show that the American people are warming to the idea, just weeks after House speaker Nancy Pelosi first publicly backed the effort.

All told, 58 per cent of respondents to the new Washington Post-Schar School poll said that they think the Democrats were right to open an impeachment inquiry into Mr Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.

That compares to 38 per cent who said it was the wrong move.

The newest results found less support for actually removing the president from office — just 49 per cent said that is what they would like to see — but nevertheless indicate that the impeachment effort may not be as politically dangerous for Democrats as some had feared. Previous polling by the same firm, but before the impeachment inquiry was announced, pegged support at between 37 and 41 per cent.

It remains to be seen how quickly Democrats in the House might move on impeachment, with some speculating that the articles could be introduced before the end of the year.

But, even if Democrats ultimately vote to impeach Mr Trump, it is unlikely that the Republican controlled Senate would vote to convict the president on those grounds.

In order for that to happen — a situation that would force Mr Trump from office, making Mike Pence the next commander-in-chief — roughly 20 Republicans would need to abandon Mr Trump, and join a unified Democratic front.

No president has ever been removed from office in that manner.