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Congress Approval, Support for Impeaching Trump Both Up
Politics

Congress Approval, Support for Impeaching Trump Both Up

Congress Approval, Support for Impeaching Trump Both Up

Story Highlights

  • 25% approve of Congress; up from 18% last month; Trump's approval at 39%
  • 52% of Americans now support Trump's impeachment and removal
  • Impeachment support reflects growth in support among independents, Dems

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives work through an impeachment inquiry regarding alleged abuses of office by President Donald Trump, approval of Congress is now at 25%. That is up from 18% in September, prior to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announcing the impeachment inquiry following news of possible wrongdoing by the president in communications with Ukraine.

Line graph. Percentage of Americans who approve of Congress since January.

The increase in approval of Congress over the past month is the result of a 15-percentage-point jump among Democrats (from 19% to 34%) as well as a smaller increase among independents (from 19% to 25%). Republicans' rating of Congress is stable, at 17%.

This update, from an Oct. 1-13 Gallup poll, also finds that Trump's approval rating remains flat, at 39%, compared with 40% in the late September update. It is on the low end of the 37% to 46% range recorded in 2019 so far, with the 37% readings coming in January during the government shutdown. Currently, 87% of Republicans, 34% of independents and 5% of Democrats approve of the job Trump is doing.

Slim Majority Now Supports Trump's Impeachment and Removal From Office

Public opinion on whether Trump should be impeached remains mixed, but Americans now lean slightly more in favor of impeachment and removal from office compared with where they stood in June.

Currently, 52% say Trump should be impeached and removed from office, while 46% say he should not be. This is roughly the opposite of what Gallup found in June when asked in the context of special counselor Robert Mueller's investigation.

Support for President Trump's Impeachment and Removal from Office, June vs. October 2019
Next we have some questions about the allegations being reported in the news concerning President Trump. Based on what you know at this point, do you think that Donald Trump should or should not be impeached and removed from office?
June 3-16, 2019^ October 1-13, 2019 Change
% % (pct. pts.)
Yes, should be 45 52 +7
No, should not be 53 46 -7
No opinion 2 2 0
^Based on what you know about Robert Mueller's investigation into Donald Trump's activities, do you think that Donald Trump should or should not be impeached and removed from office?
Gallup

Since June, Democrats' and independents' support for impeachment has grown, while Republicans' views have not changed. The change among independents is enough that a majority of that group (55%) now favors Trump being impeached and removed from office. Support for impeachment was already high among Democrats, at 81%, but now approaches 90%. Just 6% of Republicans are in favor of Trump being impeached.

Support for Impeachment, by Political Party Identification: June vs. October 2019
Based on what you know at this point, do you think that Donald Trump should or should not be impeached and removed from office?
June 2019 October 2019 Change
% Yes, should be % Yes, should be (pct. pts.)
National adults 45 52 +7
Republicans 7 6 -1
Independents 46 55 +9
Democrats 81 89 +8
Gallup

How Does Support for Trump's Impeachment Compare With Clinton and Nixon?

Gallup measured public support for impeachment and removal of Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton during their presidencies. Nixon resigned from office when it was clear the House would vote to impeach him, while Clinton was impeached by the House, but the Senate voted to keep him in office. The level of support for Trump being impeached and removed is well above where it was for Clinton, and higher than it was for Nixon in all but the final poll before he resigned.

Support for impeachment and removal of both former presidents was 19% in Gallup's initial reading for each.

Americans' support for Clinton's impeachment and removal did grow from there but never came close to majority level, maxing out at 35% in the months before the Republican-led House voted to impeach him.

Line graph. Percentage of Americans throughout 1998 who thought Clinton should be impeached and removed from office.

By contrast, public support for Nixon's impeachment and removal from office swelled over the course of a year as revelations of his wrongdoings continued.

By the time the House was prepared to impeach Nixon, a majority of Americans favored impeachment and removal. The 58% Gallup found in late August 1974 was triple the initial level of support recorded in June 1973.

Line graph. Percentage of Americans in 1973 and 1974 who thought Nixon should be impeached and removed from office.

Support for Trump's impeachment is higher because of the near-universal support for impeaching him among Democrats, perhaps to some degree a reflection of today's hyper-partisan environment. More Democrats now favor Trump being removed from office than did for Nixon in July 1974 (71%). As many independents now favor Trump being impeached as did Nixon at the same time. But far fewer Republicans want Trump to be removed than wanted Nixon to be (31%).

Bottom Line

As support for Trump's impeachment and removal from office has grown, so too has approval of the legislative body tasked with the role of putting this process into motion. What information comes in the latest round of subpoenas issued by House committees could determine the direction of Americans' support for impeachment.

In myriad ways, the headwinds Trump faces are quite different from the ones faced by his embattled predecessors. But Gallup's trends do show that public opinion on the question of a president's fate can indeed move, and that low support for such actions can undermine efforts to successfully remove a president.

The starting point of public support for Trump's impeachment is higher than was seen for Nixon and Clinton, possibly a reflection of Trump serving in a much more politically polarized environment. Still, the needle has moved on the question as the focus has moved past the Mueller report and onto other things, with the slim majority of Americans, and a majority of independents, now in support of Trump's impeachment and removal.

Explore President Trump's approval ratings and compare them with those of past presidents in the Gallup Presidential Job Approval Center.

View complete question responses and trends.

Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.

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Gallup https://news.gallup.com/poll/267491/congress-approval-support-impeaching-trump.aspx
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