July 25th, 2014
06:00 AM ET
5 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.

CNN Poll: Border crisis making major impact on immigration views

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. Lee

    How much would those poll numbers change if everyone didn't know impeachment would be a waste of time and just a distraction with the corrupt dems in control of the senate?

    July 25, 2014 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  2. Man of La Mancha

    So let's say the Republicans get their way and Obama is impeached and removed from office... How does that help them? Because then they have President Joe Biden. Do they really think Biden will do things differently or deviate from the path he and President Obama have already been on?

    This makes the whole subject look like more of a "get the black guy out of the WHITE house" reaction... They want history to show that the first black President was impeached. It satisfies the unquestionable bigotry of the GOP base.

    July 25, 2014 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  3. johnny Doughboy

    President Obama, like it or not, is the President elected to the office. 'Impeach him cry' is a waste of time and expense. Willimam Jefferson Clinton, the last target of impeachment, was a vain effort for all concerned, Exercise your vote in the next election for the White House and serious consideration for every candidate regardless of political affiliation. Your vote is your most powerful tool so use it with all due diligence the next time.

    I've heard of people who pray for the president in the White House to lead this country instead of steadfast criticism all the time. That may be a more positive approach for many,

    July 25, 2014 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  4. Guest

    he is lawless. If he were white, he would have had to step down already.

    July 25, 2014 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  5. freedom

    No, we want him exiled.

    July 25, 2014 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  6. strangerq

    Again, A CNN 'poll' of a whole 1K people. Mostly, dems

    ^ there are more democrats and republicans sweetie pie, and the gop has approval ratings in the toilet. worst of any party ever.

    July 25, 2014 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  7. Maria

    Not sure who is a better candidate for impeachment than Bush and the Republicans just let him destroy this country.

    July 25, 2014 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  8. Tony

    More than 33% of Americans think that dinosaurs and humans lived together. Given that a large percentage of Republicans imagine that Obama was born in Kenya and is either a Jihadi or a communist (or, somehow, both) I am shocked the number isn't higher. As a democrat I am rather disappointed with Obama. I think he is now just phoning it in. But quite frankly there is only so much he can do with the GOP.

    July 25, 2014 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  9. parker

    If Sarah Palin wants something, you know it isn't good for Americans. And where were all these impeachment advocates when W lied to us? Where were they when the WTC's went down? Oh, that's right, they are white Republicans . . . .

    July 25, 2014 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  10. Tom American

    I just love all the comments on how the ignorant think that Republicans want to impeach the president because he is black. The only reason he hasn't been impeached yet is for that very reason! Other presidents have been impeached for doing much less harm than what Obama has done. But, almost everyone is afraid of impeaching the first black president even though there is more than ample cause. Very sad.

    July 25, 2014 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  11. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Lizzie says:
    July 25, 2014 10:17 am at 10:17 am
    Sam
    GOD BLESS Obama for saving the american automotive industry!!!
    —-tell that the people of Pontiac, Michigan

    The Automotive plants may have closed and the regular Joes may have lost their hourly jobs but the Auto Execs in Michigan are getting paid in full!

    July 25, 2014 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  12. Reality

    Ned Phree nailed it perfectly.

    July 25, 2014 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  13. In the middle

    I have to smile when folks claim that Obama has been a "total failure." Many of us are quite pleased with his policies and successes, despite the difficult political climate. I am happy with the ACA (yes it can be improved.) I'm happy Mr. Obama put a stop to torturing prisoners (though by now we should no longer be holding prisoners without charge.) I'm happy the costs of the two unfunded wars were added to the Fed budget instead of hiding them "off-budget." I'm happy Bin Laden was eliminated, and happy we've not started any more wars. I'm happy Obama was able to get a very minimal 1% tax increase on the wealthy through Congress (hasn't hurt them, has it? DOW is over 17,000 :-)

    The middle class would be better off if the GOP had been able to compromise a bit more on some obvious spending programs. e.g. the jobs bill to rebuild the country's infrastructure. Fixing our crumbling roads and bridges HAS to be funded by the government–putting it off only makes the problem worst. Those jobs would have helped the economy grow faster than it has. Additional funding for our veterans is also an obvious need, particularly after launching two more wars in the past decade. Unfortunately the GOP has had its own 'civil war' and been unable to compromise in good faith.

    July 25, 2014 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  14. liberal)_garbage

    lol, so what this poll means is that 30% of democrats want to impeach Obama. So 100% of repubs plus 30% of dems

    July 25, 2014 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  15. FLIndy

    It's actually a good thing that CNN is making it known that the Repubs are suing and planning on impeaching our President as this will fire up the Dems for the mid-terms and get them out to vote to make sure they hold the Senate. Pay attention everyone – make sure you vote and don't stay home like you did in 2010 or this country will be done!

    July 25, 2014 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  16. Name

    Yeah, he deserved it let the 35% of democrate atleast do their best and remove him ,

    July 25, 2014 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  17. Bren

    Not only should we impeach him we should remove him from office for supporting actions against the US people as he continues to thwart our efforts to protect our border, for failure to recognize what the heck his role of President is, for failing the USA by not closing the border...and then we should sue and take away his pension for acts against the US constitution, against our border protection, for supporting illegals entry into the USA when the USC code specifically sattes he is the prime person responsible for protecting the USA from invasion....all this and then sue him for taking away all Americans safety with these actions of his, his disdain for Americans, his acts to subserviate Americans to serve foreigners invading our country. He should be impeached and shot for treason. This is called a TRAITOR. BLACK WHITE OR OTHER HE IS A JERK WITH NO RESPONSIBILITY HE SAYS. HE IS NOT A ROLE MODEL FOR OUR CHILDREN AND HAS SERVED TO DISMANTLE AND DESTROY OUR COUNTRY AND CITIZENS. WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU CONVICT HIM FOR???

    OMG PEOPLE. HE IS A TRAITOR IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD. LET 'S DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.YOUR OWN JOB.......WOULDN'T YOU HAVE LOST YOUR JOB WAY BEFORE THIS??

    WHAT EXACTLY ARE WE WAITING FOR?? DICK CHENEY TO SAY ," MAYBE I WAS WRONG ABOUT NOT IMPEACHING MY RELATIVE"?...

    July 25, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  18. Name

    I think that senate needs to worrying. Anout the wrong things 99% of the time and needs to ne focus. On more jobs and making sure that Americans. Are safe than trying to impeach the president

    July 25, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  19. Gunderson

    Holy Broken Rope!,
    As much as we would like to throw Obama a Life Preserver the will in not there. He and the Liberal's can and will Stew in their own juices, with a huge amount of Hemlock in the Pot but not enough to choke him. We don't want to do that. He is doing a bang up job already. The House Cleaning that is coming in the next 2 years will be worse than Hurricane Katrina ever was. Over the last 100 plus years the Liberal's have completely sold the Constitution. How anyone can defend it is beyond me.

    July 25, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  20. drake mallard

    This coming from Mr. Do Nothing? You have sat on your hands for almost 8 years and now you cry foul?Boehner – you are a sorry excuse for an elected representative!Republicans shut down government at a cost of $24 billion, conducted witch hunts on Benghazi and the IRS at the cost of millions, conducted 54 votes to repeal ACA, over 30 attempts to eliminate women's reproductive rights, and now have found another way of wasting tax payer money to fire up their disgusting base. Boehner is the worst speaker of the house to put his speakership above the needs of all Americans.Shtt!" said Boaner. "Can't you see I'm in the middle of a presidential impeachment... no wait, I mean, a presidential lawsuit for.... for.... doing exactly what we Republicans wanted..... and now he's stealing our thunder, dam it!! And you bother me with meaningful, critical immigration legislation? Don't you remember we already said NO to that! Can't you see I'm busy with a lawsuit here trying to sukk up to my base and get a couple votes!"

    July 25, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  21. rs

    Fine, the Left will accept the goof balls of the Right trying to impeach the President, if in turn we first put Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, Mr. Rumsfeld and Ms. Rice in jail for war crimes.

    Fair trade?

    July 25, 2014 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  22. HEYDUDE

    WOW. Not meant to bash the POTUS, but wow. What does it mean when 35% say impeachment. WOW WOW WOW

    July 25, 2014 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  23. jon wilson

    They want to impeach him because they think he's a Centrist. Check out his stats compared to other presidents at the same time in their presidency.

    July 25, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  24. Grampa

    This is nothing more than a measure of how many of the dull-minded have been taken in by the lunatic right's continuing stream of bilge and propaganda. 35% sounds about right.

    July 25, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  25. scarf

    "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. "

    That 20% of the people obviously would prefer a parliamentary form of government, where votes of no confidence can bring about new elections. Let them work to change the form of government, rather than work at cross-purposes to the one we already have.

    July 25, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
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