Republican support for convicting President Donald Trump in his Senate impeachment trial has grown in his final days in office, according to a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll released Tuesday.
About 20 percent of Republicans said they “strongly” or “somewhat” approved of convicting in the latest poll, conducted Jan. 15-17. That’s an increase from the previous poll, conducted Jan. 8-11, in which 14 percent of Republicans said the same.
Approval of a conviction remained heavily partisan, with about 86 percent of Democrats saying they “strongly” or “somewhat” approved of a Senate conviction, a slight decrease from the previous poll. About 50 percent of independent respondents “strongly” or “somewhat” approved of a Senate conviction, up slightly from 47 percent in the Jan. 8-11 poll.
The House impeached Trump last week, charging him with “incitement of insurrection” after he gave a speech to supporters on Jan. 6 in front of the White House before they stormed the U.S. Capitol. He told them to “be strong.”
Trump has defended his speech as “totally appropriate.” Just 27 percent of respondents in the poll said Trump acted “appropriately” and that the Senate should not remove him from office.
The poll released Tuesday had a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points and surveyed 1,993 registered voters.
Among respondents overall, about 55 percent said they either “strongly” or “somewhat” approve of the Senate convicting Trump. About 37 percent of respondents said they “strongly” or “somewhat” disapprove of a potential conviction and removal from office, with about 7 percent saying they didn’t know or had no opinion.
Overall support for a conviction has ticked up since Trump was impeached last week. The Jan. 8-11 poll — conducted before his impeachment — found about 54 percent of respondents said they would “strongly” or “somewhat” approve of a Senate conviction if the House impeached Trump.
Trump’s trial in the Senate — his second in office — won’t begin until after President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in on Wednesday. Ten House Republicans voted to impeach Trump last week. Now, all eyes have been on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has signaled he is open to a conviction.
About 27 percent of respondents in the poll released Tuesday said they “strongly” or “somewhat” approve of McConnell’s handling of impeachment. About 52 percent said they either “strongly” or “somewhat” disapprove, with nearly a quarter saying they didn’t know or had no opinion.
Trump’s approval rating rebounded a bit from an all-time low for his presidency, when it was at 34 percent as of the poll released last week. Now, it’s up to 39 percent, according to the poll released Tuesday.
After the House impeached Trump last week, about 44 percent of respondents said they “strongly” or “somewhat” approve of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s handling of the proceedings.
About 30 percent of respondents said they “strongly” or “somewhat” approved of congressional Republicans’ handling of impeachment, as compared to 51 percent of respondents who said the same of Democrats in Congress.