Marquette University
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New Marquette Law School Poll finds no change in impeachment views following end of public testimony

 

By - Dec 12th, 2019 02:01 pm
Mike Gousha  and Charles Franklin. Photo courtesy of Marquette University.

Mike Gousha and Charles Franklin. Photo courtesy of Marquette University.

MILWAUKEE – A new Marquette Law School poll of Wisconsin registered voters finds that support for impeachment has not changed following the conclusion of public testimony before the Intelligence Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives in November.

In the new results, 40 percent think that President Donald Trump should be impeached and removed from office, while 52 percent do not think so and 6 percent say they do not know. One percent volunteered that they thought Trump should be impeached but not removed from office. In November, 40 percent favored impeachment and removal from office, while 53 percent were opposed and 6 percent said they didn’t know. The November poll was conducted during the first week of public testimony before the Intelligence Committee but before the second week of testimony.

In October, before public hearings began, 44 percent favored impeachment and removal from office, while 51 percent were opposed and 4 percent said they didn’t know.

The new survey was conducted Dec. 3-8, 2019, after the conclusion of public testimony before the Intelligence Committee in the congressional impeachment hearings. The House Judiciary Committee heard testimony from four constitutional law professors on Dec. 4, during the field period for the survey.

The trend in responses to this question is shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Impeach and remove Trump from office by survey dates

Impeach & remove Don’t think so Don’t know
10/13-17/19 44 51 4
11/13-17/19 40 53 6
12/3-8/19 40 52 6

Opinions about Trump’s actions regarding Ukraine also changed very little following public testimony.

The new poll finds 52 percent saying they believe Trump asked the Ukrainian president to investigate Trump’s political rivals while 29 percent believe Trump did not do this. Eighteen percent say they don’t know. In November, the percentages were the same for each category: 52 percent said he asked for an investigation, while 29 percent said they did not think he did so and 18 percent said they didn’t know.

In the December poll, 44 percent say they believe Trump withheld military aid to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate Trump’s political rivals, while 36 percent do not believe Trump did this and 19 percent say they don’t know. In November, 41 percent said they believed Trump withheld aid, 38 percent did not believe he did, and 21 percent said they did not know.

Forty-two percent say that Trump did something seriously wrong in his dealings with Ukraine, 9 percent say he did something wrong but not seriously so, and 37 percent say Trump did nothing wrong. Eleven percent say they don’t know. In November, 42 percent said he did something seriously wrong, 9 percent said it was wrong but not serious, and 38 percent said he did nothing wrong.

The poll sample included 800 registered voters in Wisconsin interviewed by cell phone or landline, with a margin of error of +/- 4.2 percentage points.

Democratic presidential primary preference items were asked of those who said they will vote in the Democratic primary in April. That sample size is 358, with a margin of error of +/-6.3 percentage points.

Views of impeachment by partisanship and attention to hearings

There are large partisan differences in views of impeachment, with Democrats much more supportive and Republicans much more opposed, and a plurality of independents opposed. These partisan divisions have changed only modestly from October to December.

Table 2: Impeach and remove Trump from office by party identification, December

Impeach & remove Don’t think so Don’t know
Republican 4 94 3
Lean Republican 6 89 4
Independent 34 47 13
Lean Democrat 81 14 4
Democrat 80 11 7

Table 3: Impeach and remove Trump from office by party identification, November

Impeach & remove Don’t think so Don’t know
Republican 4 94 2
Lean Republican 7 92 1
Independent 36 47 15
Lean Democrat 73 20 8
Democrat 81 11 7

Table 4: Impeach and remove Trump from office by party identification, October

Impeach & remove Don’t think so Don’t know
Republican 6 92 2
Lean Republican 9 88 3
Independent 33 55 10
Lean Democrat 78 16 6
Democrat 88 8 3

Partisans are reacting differently to the evidence and testimony, with Democrats much more likely to say that Trump asked the Ukrainian president to investigate his political rivals than are Republicans. Independents are more than twice as likely as partisans to say that they do not know if Trump asked for an investigation: 39 percent say they don’t know, while 39 percent say he did ask and 20 percent say he did not ask.

Table 5: Did Trump ask for investigation of political rivals by party identification

Yes, did ask No, did not ask Don’t know
Republican 19 59 20
Lean Republican 30 50 18
Independent 39 20 39
Lean Democrat 82 6 12
Democrat 88 4 9

Republicans are less likely to think that Trump withheld aid to pressure Ukraine for an investigation, with two-thirds of Republicans saying that Trump did not withhold aid, whereas about eight in ten Democrats say that he did so. Almost half of independents, 48 percent, say they don’t know if Trump withheld aid, with 33 percent saying he did and 18 percent saying he did not.

Table 6: Did Trump withhold aid to pressure Ukraine for investigation of political rivals by party identification

Yes, held up aid No, did not hold up aid Don’t know
Republican 12 69 18
Lean Republican 9 69 21
Independent 33 18 48
Lean Democrat 77 5 17
Democrat 83 7 9

Thirty-one percent of all registered voters say they are following the news and testimony in the impeachment hearings very closely, with another 39 percent saying they are following fairly closely. Eighteen percent are not following too closely and 11 percent are following not at all closely.

There are no statistically significant differences in attention to the hearings between Republicans and Democrats, although independents are more likely to say they are not following closely at all.

Table 7: Attention to hearings by party identification

Very closely Fairly closely Not too closely Not at all closely
Republican 31 43 13 13
Lean Republican 30 38 24 8
Independent 14 38 20 27
Lean Democrat 30 36 26 6
Democrat 38 40 16 5

Those who are following the hearings most closely are more likely to have an opinion about the evidence than are those not paying close attention. Of those paying very close attention, 58 percent say that Trump asked for an investigation, 33 percent say he did not ask and only 9 percent say they don’t know. By contrast, among those not following the hearings at all closely, 21 percent say Trump asked, 24 percent say he did not ask, and 55 percent say they don’t know.

Table 8: Did Trump ask for investigation of political rivals by attention to hearings

Yes, did ask No, did not ask Don’t know
Very closely 58 33 9
Fairly closely 57 32 9
Not too closely 49 22 28
Not at all closely 21 24 55

A similar pattern holds with attention and opinion on whether Trump withheld aid to pressure Ukraine for an investigation. Both the percentage saying he did this and the percentage saying he did not are higher among the most attentive, and both such percentages are lower among the least attentive. Among the most attentive, only 5 percent say they don’t know while 58 percent of the least attentive say they don’t know.

Table 9: Did Trump withhold aid to pressure Ukraine for investigation of political rivals by attention to hearings

Yes, held up aid No, did not hold up aid Don’t know
Very closely 54 41 5
Fairly closely 46 41 11
Not too closely 36 29 34
Not at all closely 21 19 58

General election matchups

General election matchups between Trump and five Democratic candidates all indicate very close races, slightly closer than in the November poll.

A summary of the general election results for December is shown in Table 10. For comparison, the November results are shown in Table 11 and the October results in Table 12.

Table 10: December General Election Matchups

Matchup Pct Matchup Pct Matchup Pct Matchup Pct Matchup Pct
Biden 47 Sanders 45 Warren 44 Buttigieg 43 Booker 43
Trump 46 Trump 47 Trump 45 Trump 44 Trump 44
Neither 3 Neither 4 Neither 5 Neither 4 Neither 5
Don’t know 3 Don’t know 3 Don’t know 4 Don’t know 7 Don’t know 7

Table 11: November General Election Matchups

Matchup Pct Matchup Pct Matchup Pct Matchup Pct Matchup Pct
Biden 44 Sanders 45 Warren 43 Buttigieg 39 Booker 45
Trump 47 Trump 48 Trump 48 Trump 47 Trump 44
Neither 5 Neither 5 Neither 4 Neither 6 Neither 4
Don’t know 2 Don’t know 2 Don’t know 4 Don’t know 7 Don’t know 5

Table 12: October General Election Matchups

Matchup Pct Matchup Pct Matchup Pct Matchup Pct
Biden 50 Sanders 48 Warren 47 Buttigieg 43
Trump 44 Trump 46 Trump 46 Trump 45
Neither 3 Neither 4 Neither 4 Neither 5
Don’t know 3 Don’t know 2 Don’t know 2 Don’t know 7

Democratic Presidential Primary Candidates

Among those who say they will vote in the Democratic presidential primary in April, Joe Biden receives the most support. Biden is the first choice of 23 percent, followed by Bernie Sanders at 19 percent, Elizabeth Warren at 16 percent and Pete Buttigieg at 15 percent. Corey Booker is the first choice of 4 percent. Recently announced candidate Michael Bloomberg has the support of 3 percent, as does Andrew Yang and Amy Klobuchar.

The complete results for the Democratic primary are shown in Table 13.

Table 13: First and second choice in Democratic primary (among Democratic primary voters).

Response First Choice Second Choice
Joe Biden 23 15
Bernie Sanders 19 18
Elizabeth Warren 16 20
Pete Buttigieg 15 11
Cory Booker 4 8
Andrew Yang 3 1
Michael Bloomberg 3 8
Amy Klobuchar 3 6
Tulsi Gabbard 1 0
Tom Steyer 0 0
Michael Bennet 0 0
Marianne Williamson 0 1
John Delaney 0 0
Julián Castro 0 1
Deval Patrick 0 0
Someone else (VOL) 1 2
Would not vote (VOL) 1 0
Don’t know 11 8

Two-thirds of Democratic primary voters, 65 percent, say they might change their minds about their primary choice, while 34 percent say their mind is made up.

Among the Democratic primary sample, favorability of candidates is shown in Table 14.

Table 14: Favorability ratings of six candidates among Democratic primary sample

Favorable Unfavorable Haven’t heard enough Don’t know
Bernie Sanders 68 23 4 4
Joe Biden 68 16 11 4
Elizabeth Warren 59 17 19 4
Pete Buttigieg 47 10 39 4
Cory Booker 41 12 39 7
Michael Bloomberg 23 32 41 4

Trump Job Approval

Forty-seven percent approve of the job Trump is doing as president, with 50 percent disapproving. That is little changed from October when 47 percent approved and 51 percent disapproved. The approval-disapproval ratio of 47-50 matches Trump’s best rating in the Marquette Law School Poll since taking office, that from Oct. 24-28, 2018.

Trump’s job approval during 2019 is shown in Table 15.

Table 15: Trump job approval during 2019

Approve Disapprove
1/16-20/19 44 52
4/3-7/19 46 52
8/25-29/19 45 53
10/13-17/19 46 51
11/13-17/19 47 51
12/3-8/19 47 50

Trump’s job approval is high among Republicans, is low among Democrats, and is split among independents as shown in Table 16.

Table 16: Trump job approval by party identification

Approve Disapprove Don’t know
Republican 88 10 1
Lean Republican 89 10 1
Independent 41 48 7
Lean Democrat 6 92 2
Democrat 7 91 1

Fifty-three percent of those polled approve of Trump’s handling of the economy, while 45 percent disapprove. In November, 55 percent approved and 43 percent disapproved.

Forty-three percent of those polled approve of Trump’s handling of foreign policy, while 54 percent disapprove. In the previous poll, 44 percent approved and 52 percent disapproved.

Twenty-five percent say that Trump has changed the Republican party for the better, while 44 percent say he has changed it for the worse and 26 percent say he hasn’t changed it much either way. An additional 5 percent say they don’t know.

Views of how Trump has changed the Republican party vary by partisanship, with Republican identifiers more positive about the effect Trump has had on the party, as shown in Table 17.

Table 17: Has Trump changed GOP for better or worse, by party identification

Changed for the better Changed for the worse Hasn’t changed

much either way

Don’t know
Republican 55 10 31 4
Lean Republican 43 11 42 4
Independent 13 28 47 13
Lean Democrat 1 79 16 4
Democrat 2 86 10 2

Economic outlook and issues

Wisconsin registered voters hold a net positive view of the performance of the economy over the past 12 months, with 44 percent saying the economy has improved over the past year, 21 percent saying it has worsened, and 34 percent saying it has stayed the same. The trend in economic evaluations of the past year is shown in Table 18.

Table 18: Economic evaluation of past year

Gotten better Gotten worse Stayed the same
1/16-20/19 42 20 34
4/3-7/19 42 19 37
8/25-29/19 37 25 34
10/13-17/19 41 20 36
11/13-17/19 42 18 37
12/3-8/19 44 21 34

Looking ahead to the next year, 32 percent say the economy will improve, while 25 percent think it will get worse and 37 percent say the economy will remain the same. The trend in economic outlook during 2019 is shown in Table 19.

Table 19: Economic outlook for next year

Get better Get worse Stay the same
1/16-20/19 29 34 30
4/3-7/19 34 27 34
8/25-29/19 26 37 33
10/13-17/19 25 30 39
11/13-17/19 35 24 37
12/3-8/19 32 25 37

Evaluation of state elected officials

Gov. Tony Evers’ job approval stands at 50 percent, with disapproval at 38 percent. Eleven percent say they don’t have an opinion. In November, 47 percent approved, while 42 percent disapproved. The trend in job approval of the governor is shown in Table 20.

Table 20: Evers’s job approval in 2019

Approve Disapprove
1/16-20/19 39 22
4/3-7/19 47 37
8/25-29/19 54 34
10/13-17/19 52 34
11/13-17/19 47 42
12/3-8/19 50 38

Table 21 presents the favorability ratings of elected officials in Wisconsin and the percentage of respondents who haven’t heard enough or say they don’t know.

Table 21: Favorability ratings of governor and senators

Favorable Unfavorable Haven’t heard enough Don’t know
Tony Evers 45 37 12 5
Tammy Baldwin 42 39 14 3
Ron Johnson 36 34 26 4

About the Marquette Law School Poll

The Marquette Law School Poll is the most extensive statewide polling project in Wisconsin history. This poll interviewed 800 registered Wisconsin voters by landline or cell phone, Dec. 3-8, 2019. The margin of error is +/-4.2 percentage points for the full sample.

The Democratic presidential candidate preference items were asked of those who said that they will vote in the Democratic primary. That sample size is 358 with a margin of error of +/-6.3 percentage points.

The partisan makeup of the sample, including those who lean to a party, is 45 percent Republican, 44 percent Democratic and 9 percent independent. The partisan makeup of the sample, excluding those who lean to a party, is 30 percent Republican, 29 percent Democratic, and 39 percent independent.

Since January 2017, the long-term partisan balance, including those who lean to a party, in the Marquette poll has been 45 percent Republican and 45 percent Democratic, with 9 percent independent. Partisanship, excluding those who lean, has been 30 percent Republican and 29 percent Democratic, with 40 percent independent.

The entire questionnaire, methodology statement, full results and breakdowns by demographic groups are available at law.marquette.edu/poll/results-and-data.

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2 thoughts on “New Marquette Law School Poll finds no change in impeachment views following end of public testimony”

  1. Thomas Martinsen says:

    This poll suggests to me that too many people watch FOX NEWS or too few people actually watched the impeachment hearings. The evidence that Trump had abused the power of his office with the Ukraine chicanery was overwhelming. 17 distinguished witnesses and 4 legal scholars (one of those scholars hired by Trump supporters) all made the case that Trump had abused the power of his office for personal political gain, and that he used a foreign adversary to help his chances for 2020 in the bargain.

  2. Thomas Martinsen says:

    I amend the first sentence in the above post with “too many people watch FOX NEWS EXCLUSIVELY.” If they watched ABC, CBS, or NBC or if they watched the hearings, they would realize that Trump supporters did not even bother to refute the abuse of power or obstruction of congress charges. All the Trump supporters in those hearing did was whine about the process of the hearings. That whining was self-serving and pathetic.

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