The vast majority of Americans believe U.S. senators based their final impeachment vote on “partisan politics” rather than facts, an ABC News/Ipsos poll released Monday revealed.
Ipsos conducted the survey “immediately” after the Senate impeachment trial concluded on Saturday and found 77 percent of Americans believing that senators voted based on partisan politics rather than the facts of the case. Less than a quarter, or 23 percent of respondents, expressed the latter belief.
That sentiment remained consistent along party lines. Seventy-nine percent of independents agreed that senators voted based on partisan politics, as did 78 percent of Republicans and 76 percent of Democrats.
However, the survey also showed that 58 percent of Americans believe former President Trump should have been convicted. That opinion varies sharply on party lines, with 88 percent of Democrats expressing the belief that he should have been convicted, followed by 64 percent of independents and 14 percent of Republicans.
The survey, taken February 13-14 among 547 U.S. adults, has a margin of error of +/- 4.8 percent.
On Saturday, the Senate acquitted Trump from the charges that he incited insurrection in connection to the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. The upper chamber voted 57-43, failing to reach the 67 vote threshold to convict. Seven Republicans joined Democrats in their vote to convict, including Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Richard Burr (R-NC), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Pat Toomey (R-PA), and Ben Sasse (R-NE).
Many of them have since defended their decision, including Cassidy, who voted alongside the majority of GOP senators earlier this month on Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) motion, questioning the fundamental constitutionality of proceeding with an impeachment trial for a president who is already out of office.
“The Republican Party is more than just one person,” he said during an appearance on ABC’s This Week, defending the Republican Party as one of “ideas”:
We were the party that was founded to end slavery, we were the party that preserved the union, we were the party that passed the first civil rights law, we were the party that ended the Cold War. We are the party that before COVID had an economy that had record low unemployment for everyone; the disabled, the high school dropout, the veteran, the woman, the Black, the Hispanic, you name it, that is the party of the ideas.
“Now, the American people want those ideas but they want a leader who is accountable and a leader who they can trust. I think our leadership will be different going forward but it will still be with those ideas,” he added.
The Louisiana Republican Party’s executive committee unanimously voted to censure Cassidy following his vote to convict Trump.
Murkowski is the only pro-conviction Republican who faces reelection next year, as Burr and Toomey do not plan to run for reelection.
“If I can’t say what I believe that our president should stand for, then why should I ask Alaskans to stand with me?” she asked.
“This was consequential on many levels, but I cannot allow the significance of my vote, to be devalued by whether or not I feel that this is helpful for my political ambitions.”