Murky Methodology: CNN Polls Adults Not Voters on Trump Impeachment

donald trump rally US President Donald Trump arrives for a "Keep America Great" campaign rally at The Crown Arena in Fayetteville, North Carolina, on September 9, 2019. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

CNN released a poll on Tuesday with a headline blaring that 50 percent of Americans are now in favor of not only impeaching President Donald Trump, but removing him from office.

But who are those Americans in favor of impeaching and removing Trump? According to CNN’s report on its poll we do not know exactly the answer to the question because “adult” could mean anyone 18 or older. 

The polling methodology includes some information about respondents —  “30 percent described themselves as Democrats, 26 percent described themselves as Republicans, and 44 percent described themselves as independents or members of another party.”

They are either likely voters, registered voters, or adults — the sample is just U.S. adults not registered or likely voters.

Nonetheless, CNN’s polling director concludes support for getting rid of Trump is growing even as they report good news for Trump:

Half of Americans say President Donald Trump should be impeached and removed from office, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS, a new high in CNN polling on the topic and the first time that support for impeachment and removal has significantly outpaced opposition.

As support for impeachment has inched upward, however, Trump’s approval ratings overall and for handling major issues have not taken a hit. Overall, 41 percent approve of his handling of the presidency and 57 percent disapprove, similar to his ratings in early September and August polls conducted before the House of Representatives formally launched an impeachment inquiry in late September.

The share who say Trump used his office improperly to gain political advantage against a potential 2020 opponent in his interactions with the President of Ukraine stands at 49 percent, about the same as in the September CNN poll. At the same time, more now say Trump did not use the presidency improperly (43 percent up from 39 percent), as the share who are undecided on the question dipped. That shift was largely driven by a 16-point increase in the share of Republicans who say Trump didn’t improperly use the presidency (from 71 percent to 87 percent).

Some obvious political polling numbers: 87 percent of Democrats support impeachment and removal.

“Among Republicans, just 6 percent say they support impeaching and removing the Republican President, lower than the 14 percent who said so in a September CNN poll,” CNN reported.

Independents are evenly split at 50 percent, according to CNN.

The poll notes that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who unilaterally announced the start of an impeachment inquiry and has yet to draft an impeachment resolution and have a House vote, is nonetheless gaining in popularity.

“Her favorability rating stands at its best mark since April 2007, with 44 percent holding a favorable view of her, and 46 percent unfavorable. That increase rests mostly on a shift among independents since May — 32 percent had a favorable view of her then, while 42 percent do now,” CNN reported.

CNN noted in its poll reporting that Trump’s favorability rating is holding steady at 42 percent.

“The President has also seen his approval ratings for handling top issues hold steady or increase in the last month,” CNN reports. “His approval rating for handling the economy has rebounded from an early September dip: 52 percent approve on that score, up from 48 percent. His numbers have held about even on immigration and foreign affairs, while ticking up 4 points on foreign trade.”

The CNN Poll was conducted by SSRS from October 17-20. Results for the entire sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

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