A Zogby poll released on June 30 finds 42 percent of Americans — including 25 percent of Republicans - say that "if it is found that President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should hold him accountable through impeachment." According to Zogby, in Eastern and Western states supporters of impeachment outnumber opponents.
The only mention of this by a major media outlet was by Keith Olbermann on MSNBC.
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Video of Keith Olbermann interview
Transcript of Keith Olbermann interview:
If that's not enough post-9/11 trauma for you on your Thursday night, how about a poll suggesting that if President Bush did not tell the truth about the reasons for going to war in Iraq, 25 percent of respondents think Congress should impeach him. Doesn`t sound like a lot until you find out that the respondents are Republicans -- 25 percent of Republicans think he should be impeached under those circumstances. The overall number is 43 percent, this part of the latest Zogby poll completed after the president`s "Complete the mission" speech at Fort Bragg in North Carolina two nights ago.
The speech did not give them proverbial bump, 905 likely voters giving the president an overall job approval of 43 percent. Last week, it was 44 percent. Of more impact, perhaps, the results from the so-called red states. For the first time, more red state voters gave Mr. Bush the thumbs-down than the thumbs-up by 50 to 48.
And about the dreaded "I" word: If he didn`t tell the truth about why we went to Iraq, 42 percent would support impeachment, 50 percent would not. But the partisanship in this may not be as heavy as you would expect. Democrats on impeachment, 59 percent in favor, 30 percent say no. Republicans polled, 70 percent opposed, but a quarter would think it appropriate.
Pollster John Zogby, the head of Zogby International, joining us tonight from his rural headquarters in beautiful Utica, New York.
Good evening, John.
JOHN ZOGBY, INDEPENDENT POLLSTER: Yes. Hi, Keith. How are you?
OLBERMANN: The impeachment numbers and that one, as the baseball stat guys call them, interior number, 25 percent of Republicans would support impeaching the president. That sounds extraordinary. Is it?
ZOGBY: Yes, it is extraordinary when you consider the fact that the president got 90 percent support among Republicans in the last election. He was able to consolidate them during and after his convention. But there had been consternation among Republicans prior to his convention, and it`s coming right back now, and it`s mainly about the war.
OLBERMANN: How theoretical are those impeachment numbers? I mean, if you ask people if the president didn`t, I don`t know, did not give his real name when he ran for office, would you expect similar numbers? I mean, how much of that result is just part of the presupposition of the -- if the president did do something part of it?
ZOGBY: It`s mainly a testimonial to just how polarized this nation is. The fact that, at this point in time, in the middle of a war, after a reelection, that this many people would even think about impeachment when no one else is even talking about it. But that 42, 43 percent also corresponds with the percentage of people who tell us that they do think that the president misled nation in going to war. And so it`s troublesome for this administration.
OLBERMANN: In any event, as you suggest, the word "impeachment" was not scoffed at by 9 out of 10 voters. And clearly, the other results here show the president`s approval rating got no help from the Fort Bragg speech. What do those numbers and others tell us about the country`s perception of the war? Has it changed? Is it changing further?
OLBERMANN: The perception is precisely what is going on in the ground in Iraq right now. It`s not going well. Americans are seeing that it`s not going well. They see it`s not playing well in the world, as well. Americans will support the war when you ask them straight out because they support the troops on the ground. But when you ask them the more important question, Is it worth the loss of American lives, my poll, all of the polls are hovering around 3 in 5 voters now telling us it was not worth the loss of American lives to go to war. That is very disturbing, and that`s something the president has to pay attention to.
OLBERMANN: Lastly, different issue, two more numbers to throw back at you. All respondents, of whatever political stripe, 55 percent believe the parties are too focused on their respective bases and will not compromise, 70 percent say the parties should be broad-based and pursue compromise. But John, are they saying their own party should compromise or that the other party should compromise?
ZOGBY: Keith, that`s a very astute question, and the answer is, sure, they want the other side to do the compromising. However, we`re going to probe this a little bit more deeply because we`re beginning to see in these numbers and in other numbers that we`ve gotten that the polarization is starting to be chipped away at and that a growing center is coming back and being recreated. Americans are getting tired of the polarization.
OLBERMANN: A quick informational question. I lied about that last one being the last one. When do you do the impeachment question again? When are you going bring that up again in a poll?
ZOGBY: We`ll test it periodically. Probably a month from now. Again, no one is really talking about it, but it is a good barometric reading.
OLBERMANN: Extraordinary. John Zogby of Zogby International, great. Thanks for your time tonight, sir.
ZOGBY: Good to talk to you.
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