July 25th, 2014
06:00 AM ET
4 months ago

CNN/ORC Poll: Majority say no to impeachment and lawsuit

Washington (CNN) – There’s not a lot of public appetite for a Republican push to sue President Barack Obama, or for calls by some conservatives to impeach him, according to a new national survey.

A CNN/ORC International poll released Friday morning also indicates that a small majority of Americans do not believe that Obama has gone too far in expanding the powers of the presidency.

Earlier this month, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the GOP's 2008 vice presidential nominee, called for Obama's impeachment, becoming the latest voice on the right to make the suggestion.

zzzz poll

But according to the poll, only 35% want Obama impeached, with nearly two-thirds saying the President should not be removed from office.

There's an obvious partisan divide, with 57% of Republicans but only 35% of independents and 13% of Democrats backing a move to impeach Obama.

"Anti-impeachment sentiment is roughly where it was for past presidents - 67% opposed Bill Clinton's impeachment in September 1998, and 69% opposed impeaching George W. Bush when a few Democrats began talking about it in 2006," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

"One reason may be that Americans take impeachment very seriously. Only about one in five say that impeachment is a valid response if Congress is dissatisfied with a president's policies or the way he is handling his job. Nearly eight in 10 say impeachment should be reserved for high crimes and misdemeanors," Holland adds.

Senior Obama adviser on impeachment: 'I would not discount that possibility'

The poll's release came one day after the House Rules Committee approved – along a party line vote – a resolution authorizing Speaker John Boehner's lawsuit against the President. The GOP controlled House is expected approve it next week.

Boehner and House Republicans plan to sue Obama over his health care law. They claim he violated the Constitution by circumventing Congress and changing the law's employer mandate on his own.

By a 57%-41% margin, Americans say House Republicans shouldn't file the suit. As with the question on impeachment, there's a wide partisan divide over the lawsuit.

Boehner: Why we must now sue the President

When it comes to expanding the power of the presidency, has Obama gone too far? Forty-five percent say yes, with three in 10 saying the President's actions have been about right, and 22% saying he hasn't gone far enough.

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CNN Poll: Obama's numbers not great but holding steady

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International from July 18-20, with 1,012 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

soundoff (995 Responses)
  1. A Citizen

    With an utter lack of evidence for "high crimes and misdemeanors" what could be the emotional basis that underlies the attitudes of this "35% of Americans?" I believe anyone can read the vitriol spewed against President Obama and figure it out.

    July 25, 2014 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  2. Raoul Duke, Doctor of Journalism

    "the percentage of those who dislike Obama is down to 35%" Not necessarily; just means most people understand the word "impeachment." You can't impeach someone for imaginary nonsense you heard on FOX.
    "his only qualifications as being clean and articulate " He was a senator and former editor of the Harvard Law Review. Compare this to four-time dropout Sarah Palin, who you consider to be fully qualified even after she was ejected as Governor for refusing to face multiple ethics charges. You hate him for being black, just admit it.
    "Liberals/Media confuse the public" Stop watching FOX and look at all the channels. Look at foreign media(SPOILER ALERT: they don't think we are a third world country). FOX is owned by a Saudi Prince and an Australian Billionaire.

    July 25, 2014 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  3. Toby

    It is 33% Radical Republican wants impeachment . One key word is missing from the headline.

    July 25, 2014 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  4. NOT IN TEXAS

    Can't a majority of you people go do some work on behalf of this country to take us out of the "OMG, he (fill in the blank) ...we have folks where I work saying "oh my god he didn't cancel the fundraisers out of respect for the passengers that died in Ukraine" .... bull crap. Sounds the same as "he tweezed his eyebrows." Silly. Stupid. Lame. And oh by the way.....NOT impeachable.

    July 25, 2014 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  5. PJ

    How sad is it that a poll conducted by CNN shows that 35% want to impeach Obama? .... and then they try to act like it is a good result.

    "Only 1 out of every 3 Americans wants to actually impeach the current president.... he is doing great!!!"

    July 25, 2014 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  6. codemanx

    Lefty
    "I'm fairly certain that history will look favorably upon President Obama's administration."

    We all have to still be here in order to look back on something favorably. Unfortunately, I fear we will all be dead from nuclear war and nuclear winter and therefore his legacy will be intact......w/the roaches.

    July 25, 2014 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  7. carl

    "A CNN/ORC International poll released Friday morning also indicates that a small majority of Americans do not believe that Obama has gone too far in expanding the powers of the presidency"

    When it comes to expanding the power of the presidency, has Obama gone too far? Forty-five percent say yes, with three in 10 saying the President's actions have been about right, and 22% saying he hasn't gone far enough.

    Last time I did my math 45% was not a small amount. This was all in your article, obviously y'all need to hire a math teacher.

    July 25, 2014 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  8. Fred Evil

    That 35% is nothing but die-hard CONservatives.
    There is no legal reason to remove Obama, this poll would be identical to immediately after he was voted in.
    NO change here, the ODS sufferers refuse to acknowledge reality.

    July 25, 2014 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  9. timothy

    opinion polls are essentially worthless in a nation govern by law. We all have our prejudices and biases and sterotypical understanding/misunderstanding of each other no matter which political party we belong. We are all human after all. Being a nation of law, it is a healthy event to put before our laws those tests, from time to time, that seek to determine if our balance of power is intact or failing. Those who run for political office pledge to us all this most basicoath of upholding our laws. To test the level by which that oath is honored is healthy and to ensure one branch of the government does not reduce another should be andatory. A most healthy event is to perform such a qery openly and publicly so all may see and hopefully more fully understand our system of government. Opinions are ours to hold, right or wrong, but the running of this nation must go beyond personal opinion and be answerable to that higher standard that would view us all equally nd blind of our unique life circumstances. That is what allows us to view ourselves and claim we are a nation of law. Perhaps we should have that discussion. Are we truly a nation of law which treats all equally and fairly and blind of unique circumsance or do we tailor law to each person and circumstance such that we cannot be sure how the law affects us differently than others. It is good for our system to be out there in the raw for all to see. Testing a presidents use of power can never be bad or harmful unless we allow personal opinion and fear of gaining or losing votes to get in the way.

    July 25, 2014 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  10. Dems in PA

    It's time to try President Barack Obama treason.

    The results of the poll are only driven by who you ask. Many of my coworkers and friends don't want President Barack Obama sued or impeached.

    July 25, 2014 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  11. Mark

    There's no impeachable offense involved here. If we impeached Presidents because we don't like them we'd have had impeachment hearings with every President since Truman. If that's the procedure then we need to abolish elections. With all that's happened since the last administration, I would not call this one a total failure either. This President along with last minute actionf rom the previous one prevented the total collapse of the world economy. Things may not have come back as fast as we'd like, but the coup kitchen lines aren't going around the block. Look at pictures of the Great Depression to see how bad it could be. Where is the celebrated American Optimism? Just more gloom, doom & sarcasm from Americans. Turn off broadcast news...they're paid to give you bad news.

    July 25, 2014 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  12. Rob Petris

    Wonder if that same minority would want to impeach Obama if he were white? Would be interested in the gender and race statistic on this poll. BTW CNN a "Super Majority Oppose Impeachment" how is that for a headline?

    July 25, 2014 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  13. Quixote

    As an American and Obama supporter i am fully in favor of impeachment. Remind the majority of what they empower if they have momentary insanity and vote republican.

    July 25, 2014 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  14. Shawn S

    Percentage of that 35% who want to impeach, but have no clue on what it means? 100%

    July 25, 2014 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  15. JIM

    A Citizen
    claiming racism every time is not going to work, I wonder how many crimes would go unpunished if every criminal was allowed to destroy all evidence and was the one in control of the DOJ lap dog

    July 25, 2014 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  16. Anita Narvaez

    Obama should sue congress for refusing to work with him! All congress do is wine complain all the time.. And no work their work all this six years is refusing to work with the President , then they turn around and blame the President for the same thing they refuse to work with the President ...Really People We Have a Good President and a Bad Congress ...And That's The Truth!

    July 25, 2014 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  17. Raoul Duke, Doctor of Journalism

    "most of the liberals in America don't give a dam. just give us our free stuff. " Do they pay you do post this nonsense, or are you so deluded you work for free? Get a real job and leave us alone. Pretending everyone who voted for Obama is ether some far-left weirdo or a welfare cheat is one of the strangest things you fools do, and it's just creepy. No way you actually believe that, so why bother posting it over and over? Do you, in fact, get paid every time you grunt that one out?

    July 25, 2014 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  18. A

    Congress is a joke. Doing exactly as they said...if you want to grab a torch and pitchfork, you are chasing the wrong person(people). Do nothing to make your point at the expense of the rest of the country. Awesome job, guys!

    July 25, 2014 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  19. rl

    I think the House should go ahead with an impeachment and a law suit (which they are sure to lose). This will draw the prrogressive base out like never seen before for a mid year election.

    July 25, 2014 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  20. Anonymous

    No matter what others say, he is doing his best under the circumstances.

    July 25, 2014 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  21. Peter

    The 35% is an amazing figure it just happens to be the same level validated insanity in our country.

    July 25, 2014 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  22. wrm

    I would hate for them to impeach him. Aside from the fact that it doesn't appear he did anything formally impeachable, don't make a martyr of him. There's been nothing to hurt Obama more than Obama himself. Let him ride it out.

    July 25, 2014 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  23. JMorcan

    Obama's first term was the last opportunity any US president will have to salvage the US economy. Instead, he gave billions to the very people responsible for the damage. China owns us now, and we will be lucky not to resemble a Third World economy within ten years.

    July 25, 2014 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  24. dnokc

    The question I read says to Impeach and Remove from office. The article says 35% to not wish him to be Impeached. The question is misleading. I believe 35% do not wish him to be removed from office. However I also believe more than 50% wish him to be Impeached.

    July 25, 2014 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  25. bspurloc

    for the nutcases you must first send bush to the hague for his high crimes of treason and lie of the century causing 50,000+ wounded soldiers hundreds of thousands of veterans needing healthcare, 5,000+ soldiers deaths, indirectly and directly causing hundreds of thousands of iraqi deaths....
    or stop crying wah wah benghazi wah wah doesnt say "or federal healthcare" wah wah wah...

    July 25, 2014 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
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