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Impeachment Poll: Trump-Ukraine News Has Done Little to Sway Public Opinion—So Far

September 25, 2019, 4:59 PM UTC

News surrounding the Trump-Ukraine phone call has so far done little to sway the American public’s opinion on impeaching the President, according to polling data from the research firm Ipsos. 

The poll, released Tuesday before the transcript of Trump’s call with President Volodymyr Zelensky was made available, revealed 37% of Americans think Trump should be impeached. Impeachment support in Ipsos polls has remained in the upper-30s and low-40s the last several months and was at 41% in the most recent poll before the Ukraine story was reported. It was at 44% in May, when the Trump administration released findings of the Mueller report.

The polling data also showed that 29% of Republicans believed Trump had asked the Ukrainian president to investigate corruption, versus 76% of Democrats. Forty-nine percent of Democrats believed Trump had abused the power of the office, compared to 11% of Republicans.

“What we see are huge partisan gulfs between Republicans and Democrats,” said Clifford Young, president of U.S. Ipsos Public Affairs. “The degree to which they see this as linking to a real political scandal is how much they believe the mainstream media.”

Read: Is the White House “transcript” of Trump’s Ukraine call “fully declassified and unredacted?”

Young expects some of these numbers to change as the public grows more familiar with the story. Only 17% of respondents said they had “a great deal” of knowledge regarding the phone call with the Ukrainian president. For recent major stories, such as the accusations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the share of people with a great deal of knowledge has hovered in the 30s. 

“If you slice it by those who are paying a lot of attention, support for impeachment goes up,” Young said. “While we don’t have a crystal ball, we would expect as people gain more knowledge and familiarity with the issue for impeachment to go up.” 

In the released transcript of the phone call, Trump said, “There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that, so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great.” Before the transcript was released, Trump had admitted to discussing Joe Biden with Zelensky but denied that he withheld U.S. funding for Ukraine as a “quid pro quo” for an investigation.  

Support for Biden, whom Trump asked the Ukrainian president to investigate over alleged dealings by his son Hunter, increased by 1 percentage point in the Ipsos poll compared to the previous poll, with 20% of Democrats and Independents saying they would vote for Biden in a Democratic primary. But a Quinnipiac poll released today showed Elizabeth Warren leading Biden 27% to 25%.    

The Ipsos poll surveyed 1,005 Americans.  

More must-read stories from Fortune:

What is CrowdStrike, the company Trump mentioned in his Ukraine call?
—How impeachment momentum massively shifted among Democrats
—More than 160 House Democrats now support impeachment proceedings
—Trump to release full transcript of Ukraine call
—’No one is above the law.’ Nancy Pelosi announces formal impeachment inquiry
Biden backs Trump impeachment inquiry if he obstructs Congress

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