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Majority of Americans Support Allowing New Impeachment Evidence, Poll Finds

January 22, 2020 by Dan McCue
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., center, walks out of the Senate chamber at the Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020, in Washington. President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial quickly burst into a partisan fight Tuesday as proceedings began unfolding at the Capitol. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

WASHINGTON – A majority of Americans say House managers should be able to introduce new evidence in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, a new Monmouth University poll finds.

Most also say that Trump and members of his administration should be asked to appear at the trial, but there is a deep partisan split on whether they should be compelled to do so.

The university’s poll was conducted by telephone Jan.16 through Jan. 20.

It found that 57% of respondents believe House managers should be able to present new evidence in the Senate trial to support the articles of impeachment.

Another 37% say that the managers should be limited to sharing only what was revealed during the initial impeachment inquiry. Support for allowing new evidence comes from 87% of Democrats, 56% of independents, and just 24% of Republicans.

“Public opinion on allowing new evidence and compelling witness testimony in the Senate trial breaks sharply along partisan lines. But it is interesting that solid majorities in every partisan group would like to see Trump and members of his administration at least be asked to appear,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Just over half of the American public  — 53% — approve of the House of Representatives decision to impeach Trump, while 46% disapprove.

Support for the U.S. Senate actually removing Trump from office now that he has been impeached stands at 49% who agree, while a similar 48% say Trump should not be removed.  A different question on impeachment Monmouth had been asking prior to the House action showed support for the president’s removal at 45% in December, 44% in November and September (just after details of Trump’s call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky was revealed), and 35% in August.

“The process has now moved on to the Senate and there are some new revelations, but public opinion on impeachment has shifted only slightly,” Murray said.

The poll also found there had been little movement in the rating of Congress or its leadership.

Currently, 24% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing and 62% disapprove. Approval has ranged between 21% and 24% since the impeachment process got underway in September while disapproval has been between 62% and 68%.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi earns a 35% approve and 43% disapprove job rating, with 22% having no opinion. This is similar to her 31%-45% rating in November and 34%-45% rating in January 2019.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell earns a 21% approve and 39% disapprove rating, with 40% having no opinion. This is similar to his 15%-39% rating in November and 15%-40% rating one year ago.

The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute and sought the opinions of 903 adults in the United States. It has a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percentage points.

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