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.

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. DK

    Ok, so 35% of the public doesn't understand what is a valid basis for impeachment. They may not like Obama, but it's laughably ignorant to call for impeachment when there are absolutely no grounds to do so.

    July 25, 2014 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  2. JOE DILEO

    Obama...expanding the powers of the presidency??? You mean, more that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney did? Uh...NOOOOOOOOO.

    July 25, 2014 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  3. Burbank

    I have a better idea. Let's impeach Congress.

    July 25, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Strange poll, 99% of everyone I talk to want him out, c'mon he's a marxist.

    July 25, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  5. Janine

    Impeachment? SERIOUSLY???????? Legislators, you need to work together. Figure it out- that's your job!

    July 25, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  6. Mike

    I do not know about impeachment but 35% is significant! No one is going to get impeached with 35%, but it is a significant minority. Those of us who pay attention to politics realize that minority groups with much smaller numbers get a lot done in Washington. If that 35% works correctly they will be able to stop most of what the President is trying to do, because over 50% of US does not like what he is doing or not doing. This is a reactionary Presidency on the international front. We need to be proactive in this world. Mr. Obama is over his head, both at home and over seas. Anyway, I would not ignore this growing 35%. If he keeps failing it will get bigger!

    July 25, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  7. Sara

    Please GOP pursue it, you will not only disgust the younger generations but will loose them completely. Go ahead, in the long-run, it will turn the Republican party into the a permanent minority party.

    July 25, 2014 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  8. rite99

    Strange poll, 99% of everyone I talk to wants him impeached, c'mon he's a marxist that lied his way in.

    July 25, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  9. Richard

    Better watch out, Democrats; the independents are gunning for you.

    July 25, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Bunch of morons no respect for the elected highest seat in your own country keep attacking a black person ( half white )....absolutely no regard for the presidency seat.....the whole world has been watching and laughing at us......

    July 25, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  11. Johnk

    Agreed, most likely the same 35% that voted against him. My 401k says NOT to impeach.

    July 25, 2014 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  12. Jerome K

    Suing or impeaching Obama at this point would be the worst move the GOP could make. It takes attention away from Obama and back on them, all in hopes it rallies their voting base, that is fleeing them for a more independant or libretarian voting loyalties.

    July 25, 2014 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  13. up1

    Obama, by a wide margin, is the worst president in US history however he has not committed infractions justifying high crimes and misdemeanors as legally defined.
    Incompetence or lack of policies and non-transparency, even the lies about the ACA, are not covered.
    Impeachment would cost millions and take years.
    The saddest part of this was that a big part of his election was for America to show that they can elect the first black president and hopefully get the ball rolling. However, his inability to do the job and his horrible actions and responses concerning race have unfortunately made it difficult for future black candidates.
    I think he was just the wrong person at the wrong time.
    The take away is to elect a competent and experienced leader and someone who is not ideologically locked, who can work, negotiate and compromise with others and not crawl into a cave with sycophants
    ---------------------------------------------
    We did, he was the most qualified of the choices both times

    July 25, 2014 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  14. SweetJazz

    That's about the percentage I expected with all of the right wing racists and bigots in this country.

    July 25, 2014 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  15. Socalmama

    Never in US history has the House of Representatives sued a sitting president - but that’s exactly what Boehner’s Republicans are doing. Since Republicans voted to sue the President yesterday, more than 28,000 of you have stepped up. But we still need 11,331 more donations today to fully respond to Boehner's historic obstruction. Vote blue.

    July 25, 2014 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  16. Zeke

    Give Obama time, he will work his way towards impeachment by himself. He just okayed an exemption for US territories for Obamacare. What ever happened to equal justice under the law with this administration? Liberals are always touting equal justice and application under the law except when Obama is involved. If there are subsidies or exemptions for Obamacare, they should be available for all citizens. Keep digging Obama, you will find impeachment.

    July 25, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  17. sm

    How do you properly gauge this poll with only 1k respondents via the phone. There are almost 319 Million people residing in the United States. My daughter can sell more than that in a year of girl scout cookies... Please get more accurate data.

    July 25, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  18. Gyrogearloose

    As someone who is not at all an Obama fan, the right way to deal with this is to vote for a better candidate when the time comes.

    July 25, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  19. up1

    His behavior is outrageous and most American citizens have had enough. Opening our borders to illegal people who will cost us a fortune in services and make our crime rate go up and now he offers to go get them so they won't have to make the dangerous trek. Seriously? He thumbs his nose at us and the problems we face while he goes to unending fundraisers. Scandals at the IRS and Attorney General's Office just get pushed under the rug. He doesn't show regard for hard-working Americans. Maybe an impeachment process would get his attention.
    ------------------------------------------
    When were the borders closed? Not after 9-11 Bush and the GOP never brought it up. Regan after his amnesty. Nope
    What IRS scandal, the one where only a liberal group lost their tax exempt statues

    July 25, 2014 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  20. kumar

    Blame Game Ah! by the republicans. MH plane taken out of sky,-–it is the fault of President Obama
    A typhoon struck Taiwan--it is the fault of President Obama
    Evil guys of 9-11 were in this country many months before--not the fault of Bush
    Israeli and Palestine Peace plan failure-–It is the fault of Obama
    The weather was bad today-----–It is the fault of Obama
    I listen to all news station, and never seen a prop estrous and ugly news casts of FOX . All they do is Anti Obama . When can they make some sensible analysis on news.

    July 25, 2014 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  21. GreyMan

    Please, please, please try it. And make it quick before the 2014 elections.

    July 25, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  22. Michael F.

    Let's not forget that AT LEAST 33% of the people in this country at COMPLETE MORONS...

    July 25, 2014 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  23. tm1946

    Two more years of operating with the arrogant collegel professor who know what is best for us is unacceptable. If he can work with Congress with some degree of give and take, fine. But if he can only operate by pen and his huge intelligence.... well time will tell. We cannot continue to operate with no government, easier to fire the head coach than to replace 300+ representatives.

    July 25, 2014 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  24. up1

    Barack Hussein Obama is the best and worst thing to happen to this country. The worst is that he has destroyed the economy, military, job market, middle class, foreign policy, stature in the world, healthcare, energy industry, immigration system and everything else he touches and it will take years to reverse this destruction. The most important and best is that he will have destroyed the Democratic Party for at least a decade. Thank you Barack “Commie” Obama
    ----------------------------------------------–
    They are in beter shape thenwhen he came in, is that the reason to impeach him he fixed the prior presidents messes

    July 25, 2014 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  25. Terence Clark

    Let them try the impeachment route or even the lawsuit route. It'll turn out just like the Monica Lewinski situation did for the Republicans. Americans aren't big on the "If you don't like them, sue them" approach to government, and it shows. It doesn't matter who's in office. And frankly, the arguments for impeachment are weak sauce. Granted I think Obama is overstepping presidential power, but I though some of his predecessors were far worse. It's a problem that needs to be dealt with, but kicking him out or suing him won't solve the problem. It's a systemic problem with the role of the US president that doesn't rest with a single person.

    July 25, 2014 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
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