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New Poll: Majority of Americans Support Impeachment
For Immediate Release: November 4, 2005
New Poll Shows Majority of Americans Support Impeachment;
ImpeachPAC is Launched to Support Pro-Impeachment Candidates
By a margin of 53% to 42%, Americans want Congress to impeach President Bush if he lied about the war in Iraq, according to a new poll commissioned by AfterDowningStreet.org, a grassroots coalition that supports a Congressional investigation of President Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003.
The poll was conducted by Zogby International, the highly-regarded non-partisan polling company. The poll interviewed 1,200 U.S. adults from October 29 through November 2.
The poll found that 53% agreed with the statement:
"If President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should consider holding him accountable through impeachment."
42% disagreed, and 5% said they didn't know or declined to answer. The poll has a +/- 2.9% margin of error.
"These results are stunning," said AfterDowningStreet.org co-founder Bob Fertik. "A clear majority of Americans now supports President Bush's impeachment if he lied about the war. This should send shock waves through the White House - and a wake-up call to Democrats and Republicans in Congress, who have sole power under the Constitution to impeach President Bush."
ImpeachPAC is Launched
In response to the latest poll results, Bob Fertik, president of Democrats.com, announced today the creation of a new political action committee called ImpeachPAC, headquartered at ImpeachPAC.org. ImpeachPAC will support Democratic candidates who support the immediate and simultaneous impeachment of George Bush and Dick Cheney for lying about Iraq. ImpeachPAC set a goal of raising $100,000 over the Internet to prove to President Bush, Congress, and the media that there is intense grassroots support for impeachment, as reflected in the new Zogby poll.
Impeachment Supported by Majorities of Many Groups
Responses to the Zogby poll varied by political party affiliation: 76% of Democrats favored impeachment, compared to 50% of Independents and 29% of Republicans.
Responses also varied by age, sex, race, and religion. 70% of those 18-29 favored impeachment, 51% of those 31-49, 50% of those 50-64, and 42% of those over 65. 56% of women favored impeachment, compared to 49% of men. Among African Americans, 90% favored impeachment, compared to 67% of Hispanics, and 46% of whites. Majorities of Catholics, Jews, Muslims, and Others favored impeachment, while 49% of Protestants and 46% of Born Again Christians did so.
Majorities favored impeachment in the East (53%), West (56%), and Central states (58%), but not the South (43%). In large cities, 58% support impeachment; in small cities, 56%; in suburbs, 49%; in rural areas, 46%.
Support for Impeachment Has Surged Since June
The new Zogby poll shows a dramatic transformation in support for Bush's impeachment since late June. (This is only the third poll that has asked Americans about their support for impeaching Bush in 2005, despite his record-low approval ratings.) The Zogby poll conducted June 27-29 of 905 likely voters found that 42% agreed and 50% disagreed with the identical statement asked about in this recent polling. This question was virtually identical to one used in early October by Ipsos Public Affairs, which found that 50% agreed and 44% disagreed that Congress should consider impeaching Bush if he did not tell the truth about his reasons for war.
After the June poll, pollster John Zogby told the Washington Post that support for impeachment "was much higher than I expected." At the time, impeachment supporters trailed opponents by 8%. Now supporters outnumber opponents by 11%, a remarkable shift of 19%.
Support for Clinton Impeachment Was Much Lower
In August and September of 1998, 16 major polls asked about impeaching President Clinton (http://democrats.com/clinton-impeachment-polls). Only 36% supported hearings to consider impeachment, and only 26% supported actual impeachment and removal. Even so, the impeachment debate dominated the news for months, and the Republican Congress impeached Clinton despite overwhelming public opposition.
Impeachment Support is Closely Related to Belief that Bush Lied about Iraq
The Zogby and Ipsos polls asked about support for impeachment if Bush lied about the reasons for war, rather than asking simply about support for impeachment. Pollsters predict that asking simply about impeachment without any context would produce a large number of "I don't know" responses. However, this may understate those who support Bush's impeachment for other reasons, such as his actions before and immediately after Hurricane Katrina, his negligence prior to 9-11, his use of torture, and the CIA outing scandal.
Other polls show a majority of U.S. adults believe that Bush did in fact lie about the reasons for war. A June 23-26 ABC/Washington Post poll found 52% of Americans believe the Bush administration "deliberately misled the public before the war," and 57% say the Bush administration "intentionally exaggerated its evidence that pre-war Iraq possessed nuclear, chemical or biological weapons." Support for the war has dropped significantly since June, which suggests that the percentage of Americans who believe Bush lied about the war has increased.
Passion for Impeachment is Major Unreported Story
The strong support for impeachment found in this poll is especially surprising because the views of impeachment supporters are entirely absent from the broadcast and print media, and can only be found on the Internet and in street protests. The lack of coverage of impeachment support is due in part to the fact that not a single Democrat in Congress has called for impeachment, despite considerable grassroots activism by groups like Democrats.com (http://democrats.com/impeach).
The passion of impeachment supporters is directly responsible for the new poll commissioned by After Downing Street. After the Zogby poll in June, activists led by Democrats.com urged all of the major polling organizations to include an impeachment question in their upcoming polls. But none of the polling organizations were willing to do so for free, so on September 30, AfterDowningStreet.org posted a request for donations to fund paid polls (http://afterdowningstreet.org/polling). People responded with small donations (on average $27) which quickly added up to over $10,000. After Downing Street has spent a portion of that money on the Ipsos Poll and the new Zogby Poll.
1. AfterDowningStreet.org is a rapidly growing coalition of veterans' groups, peace groups, and political activist groups that was created on May 26, 2005, following the publication of the Downing Street Memo in London's Sunday Times on May 1. The coalition is urging Congress to begin a formal investigation into whether President Bush committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war.
2. The Ipsos Public Affairs poll and the new Zogby poll results cited above refer to surveys of U.S. adults. The June Zogby results are from a survey of likely voters. The new Zogby poll produced results for both adults and likely voters (see footnote 3).