- Survey also quantifies the split on whether Trump should have been impeached, acquitted
- Party-line loyalties apparent in job-approval ratings for Trump and Democratic House leaders in impeachment proceedings
ST. LEO, FL – According to the most recent survey of American voters by the Saint Leo University Polling Institute (http://polls.saintleo.edu), a sizable population intends to remember the impeachment inquiry and trial of President Donald J. Trump when they go to vote in the November election. Reactions are split into opposite directions, however, in roughly equal proportions.
Specifically, 42.9 percent strongly agreed and somewhat agreed that they are more inclined to support Trump and Republicans in November 2020. Conversely, 44 percent strongly agreed and somewhat agreed that they are more likely inclined to support Democrats.
Since the margin of error for the online poll is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the national sample of 1,000 adults, results that close can be considered essentially equal. Questions were answered during the period from February 17 through February 22, 2020.
And in Florida, where the president now lives, and where 900 likely voters were asked the same question, the results were similar. The margin of error for the Florida poll was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, as it was 100 respondents smaller than the national poll.
A sum of 45.6 percent of the sample strongly and somewhat agreed that they were more inclined to support Republicans. On the other hand, 46.3 percent said they strongly and somewhat agreed that they were more inclined to support Democrats.
However, Saint Leo University Polling Institute Director Frank Orlando, who is also a political scientist, acknowledged the gap of nine months between the time people answered the survey and election in November. Specific facts about the impeachment proceedings may not be at the top of voters’ minds by then as compared to any feelings of allegiance. “It could be that this will affect voter turnout more than persuade any voters,” he said.
These opinion findings above were similar to results from the basic questions about whether it was correct for the U.S. House of Representatives to impeach the president and whether it was right for the U.S. Senate to acquit him.
The survey results also showed that more people had strong opinions than milder ones. To put it another way, more people said they strongly agreed or strongly disagreed with test statements in the survey. People who had milder opinions, those who somewhat agreed or somewhat disagreed on any particular statement, proved fewer in number. This was true across all four questions specific to the Trump impeachment.
|The U.S. House of Representatives was correct to impeach President Trump – leading to the trial of the president in the U.S. Senate||U.S. – %||Florida – %|
The percentage of people who approved of the impeachment in the U.S. House—52.2 percent nationally and 55.9 percent in Florida—is quite close to the percentage who strongly and somewhat disapprove of Trump’s job performance in the same survey. That percentage is 53.7 percent in the national survey and 54.8 percent in Florida.
The survey also posed a test statement about the impeachment trial from the opposite vantage point from the one above.
|The U.S. Senate was correct to acquit President Trump following their trial – leading to a finding of not guilty and not removing him from office.||U.S. – %||Florida – %|
The survey response that was approving of Trump’s acquittal—46.6 percent nationally and 47.7 percent in Florida—was similar to those strongly and somewhat approving of his job performance. Those statistics were 44.3 percent nationally and 44 percent in Florida. And nationally, 83 percent of Republicans approved of his job performance, while in Florida, 84.4 percent of Republicans approved.
Orlando, in reviewing the numbers, said it was “not surprising to see that voters are split on this issue, right down the middle. President Trump’s supporters are happy with the Senate’s decision, and his detractors wish that he had been removed.”
Carrying the impeachment reactions to the ballot box
The details also show respondents proved to be almost as strong in their views on their future voting as they were about impeachment. One distinction, though, is that slightly higher numbers of people said they were unsure about November than were unsure about impeachment.
|The impeachment and trial of President Trump has me more inclined to support President Trump and Republicans in November 2020||U.S. – %||Florida – %|
The survey also revealed that among national respondents, a sum of 34.4 percent strongly and somewhat approve of the job performance of U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. McConnell publicly aligned himself with President Trump before the trial and is up for re-election. Among Republicans in the survey base, 59.2 percent approve of McConnell’s job performance.
|The impeachment and trial of President Trump has me more inclined to support the Democratic presidential nominee and Democrats in November 2020||U.S. – %||Florida – %|
Only 38.9 percent nationally said they strongly or somewhat approved of the job U.S. Representative Adam Schiff did as the lead impeachment trial manager, though 61.6 percent of Democrats reported approval of the congressman from Southern California. Only 38.4 percent of the survey base said it strongly or somewhat approved of the job performance of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, another Democratic leader who was key to the impeachment process. However, 61.9 percent of Democrats approve of the leader, who is from San Francisco.
The depth of the feelings or opinions on the issue “will just add more fuel to the fire on both sides,” predicted Orlando, the polling director and political scientist. “It’s another ‘brick in the wall’ to support Trump or to vote him out.”
Orlando added that, “While there may have been some independent thinkers on this, it doesn’t look like many Republicans followed U.S. Senator Mitt Romney’s (R- Utah) lead in concluding the president deserved to be convicted of abuse of power in the trial, nor did many Democrats decide to back the president once the trial started. Just like so many of our political debates, the details may be forgotten, but the experience will further cement one’s partisanship.”
Future possible impeachments
There was one matter in the survey that generated widespread agreement among respondents nationally and in Florida. The survey tested this statement: “Future presidential impeachments and removals from office must be bipartisan to succeed.”
The results showed that 66 percent of respondents agreed nationally, and that of that sum, 35 percent agreed strongly and 31 percent somewhat agreed. Another 19 percent said they don’t know. Those who disagreed, either strongly or somewhat, totaled 15 percent.
In Florida, 70.7 percent agreed that impeachments would have to be bipartisan in the future to succeed. Of that sum agreeing, 44.3 percent agreed strongly, and 26.4 percent somewhat agreed. Those who disagreed, either strongly or somewhat, equaled 14.3 percent, and slightly more at 14.9 percent said they don’t know.
About the Poll
METHODOLOGY: This national survey was conducted from February 17 through February 22, 2020, among a base of 1,000 respondents nationally, using an online instrument. The national sample has an associated margin of error of +/- 3.0 percent at a 95 percent confidence for questions asked of all 1,000 respondents.
The Florida sample was conducted during the same time period among a base of 900 likely voters, using the same online instrument. The results from the sample of 900 Florida respondents has an associated margin for error of +/-3.5% at a 95% confidence level.
The Saint Leo University Polling Institute conducts its surveys using cutting-edge online methodology, which is rapidly transforming the field of survey research. The sample is drawn from large online panels, which allow for random selections that reflect accurate cross sections of all demographic groups. Online methodology has the additional advantage of allowing participants to respond to the survey at a time, place, and speed that is convenient to them, which may result in more thoughtful answers. The Saint Leo University Polling Institute develops the questionnaires, administers the surveys, and conducts analysis of the results. Panel articipants typically receive a token incentive—usually $1 deposited into an iTunes or Amazon account—for their participation.
The Saint Leo University Polling Institute survey results about national and Florida politics, public policy issues, Pope Francis’ popularity, and other topics, can also be found here: http://polls.saintleo.edu. You can also follow the institute on Twitter @saintleopolls.
Jo-Ann Johnston, Saint Leo University, University Communications firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 467-0843 (cell/text).
Mary McCoy, Saint Leo University, University Writer & Media Relations, email@example.com, (352) 588-7118 or cell (813) 610-8416
About Saint Leo University
Saint Leo University is one of the largest Catholic universities in the nation, offering nearly 60 undergraduate and graduate-level degree programs to more than 19,500 students each year. Founded in 1889 by Benedictine monks, the private, nonprofit university is known for providing a values-based education to learners of all backgrounds and ages in the liberal arts tradition. Saint Leo is regionally accredited and offers a residential campus in the Tampa Bay region of Florida, 32 education centers in seven states, and an online program for students anywhere. The university is home to more than 95,000 alumni. Learn more at saintleo.edu.