July 25th, 2014
06:00 AM ET
3 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. Raoul Duke, Doctor of Journalism

    I bet these same people all think he is from Kenya, and that "impeach" means "presidential election do-over." See, they have been promised that they can "impeach Obama," "repeal Obamacare," and "make it illegal to be a liberal," and they are beginning to suspect that they have been taken for a ride in the hay wagon in exchange for their votes. Well, they have, and if they had listened better in high school, they wouldn't have turned themselves into such jokes.

    July 25, 2014 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  2. GS

    right, impeach him, so we can get some from the other party, and another 35% can say impeach that person. Come on, be part of the solution. It starts with you.

    July 25, 2014 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  3. david j ballou

    Sue the president. Thats a good idea. We should sue Bush for wrongful death of thousands of american Military service men and woman. The republicans have their heads up their ass so deep, they will not see the oval office again for a long time.

    July 25, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  4. Damion

    Speaking as a Philosophical Existentialist... While I may have issues with some of Obama's logic, I think we should hold off on any impeachment process. Yes, Obama has violated the law with abusing the executive order; however, many presidents have overly used that specific technique. Remember, executive orders 'are not' actual fully protected by law; therefore, they can be removed or overwritten by the next president. Regardless about who is/becomes president, I am more concerned about Republicans and Democrats abusing/applying 'mandates'. If there is anything dangerous to our individuality and freedom, the government's ability to apply an infinite amount of mandates is the danger. I am not just talking about the individual mandate. I am talking about a massive wide range of mandates.

    July 25, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  5. scott

    They forgot to mention that 100% that want impeachment watch Fox news (AKA Far Right News Network)

    July 25, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  6. Bobbie Jo Justice

    where were these "concerned patriots" when gwb the terrorist was destroying America?

    July 25, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  7. Be Sane

    They'll do it anyway. This has been their plan all along. From day one of President Obama's term in office.
    Hate mongers. All they are.

    July 25, 2014 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  8. teedofftaxpayer

    The 35% is about right for the extreme right wingers who has wanted to impeach President Obama since the day he was elected. The main reason is the color of his skin and because he's a democrat, but mostly the color of his skin.

    July 25, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  9. J.S.

    Yep. Incompetence, impotence and arrogance are a wretched mix.

    July 25, 2014 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  10. Mell

    Yeah republicans do it so it will trigger a Revolution and we will hang all the GOP and their Rich friends that exploits the poor and the middle-class.

    Be my guest.

    July 25, 2014 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  11. Jim

    This is just getting started, Americas enemies know there will never be another wussy in the white house like Obama ever again, they will push the envelope in next two years while Obama is on the golf course

    July 25, 2014 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  12. Raoul Duke, Doctor of Journalism

    Wanna know what they are the angriest about? Their leading candidates are Teddy Boy Cruz, from Cuba via Mexico, whose dad helped the commies take over, Sarah Palin, from some place near Russia and no birth certificate, who had to resign facing five ethics trials and can't read very well, and Chris "Pontifex" Christie, who was a moderate for about six weeks once before he drove off the bridge. Gosh, and then there is Ayn Rand Paul, a Libertarian/Anarchist who isn't actually a Republican! What amazing choices, it's like choosing between a Yugo and a Pinto that are both broke down.

    July 25, 2014 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  13. Fred Ectempt

    Meaningless. This is the same 35% that would have liked to have Obama impeached his very first day in office.

    July 25, 2014 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  14. BUD

    The GOP are champion time wasters.If only they would do what they were elected to.

    July 25, 2014 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  15. slappy white

    And how many people want to get rid of the current Congress? 80 percent/

    July 25, 2014 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  16. Asi

    35% want him impeached and 39% approve of the job Obama is doing. Those are not good numbers for any president!

    July 25, 2014 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  17. Naners1

    My guess this is the new norm. I wouldn't expect any president from here on out to get out of office with a favorable legacy. It's just not possible.

    July 25, 2014 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  18. Andy

    Is it a coincidence that 33% of Americans are strictly Republican? lol.

    July 25, 2014 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  19. SarahTonin

    Is the American public "THAT" stupid that they would answer yes to such a question. Not only is it necessary for the President to have committed an impeachable offense, even if the House votes for his removal from office for picking his nose, the Senate would have to do the same and they are Democrats, making impeachment impossible.This country has no hope of implementing a sensible working government. Government is a reflection of the disfunctional voting public.

    July 25, 2014 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  20. Bzarr

    The repubs are just upset that they hav'nt been able to get rid of the ACA. And even though several million more people now have insurance, they would dump the ACA in a minute. You see, its not about the people, its about them obstructing Obama.

    July 25, 2014 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  21. Rich Minautyu.

    "What difference does it make" what the American people think?????

    July 25, 2014 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  22. Ed

    he's certainly guilty of conspiracy and decadence

    July 25, 2014 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  23. Adam Morad

    Impeachment is not something that should be thrown around every time one party does not like what the President of the other party does. Impeachment is there to charge for "High Crimes & Misdemeanors". What the President has done is well under his scope of office. Look at HISTORY!!! If the GOP can try this President for Impeachment about a Health Care Law, WHERE THE HELL WERE THEY WHEN A PRESIDENT & HIS CABINET LIED TO GET US INVOLVED IN A WAR??? I know, Bush's presidency is over and we should be looking forward but COME ON!!! This is nothing more than Political Theater and BS!!! This country is not in a position to deal with this nonsense when we have many more pressing issues facing us. Time for the GOP to pull their collective Heads out of their rears!!!

    July 25, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  24. TurdFurgeson

    I'd say 95% of Americans are too dumb to understand that impeachment is to bring a formal charge for unlawful doings, not to remove from office.

    July 25, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  25. sdzuck

    A higher percentage wanted to impeach George W Bush. The House did impeach Clinton. Don't people get that if this is the new trend, we will destroy the Republic? Our national credit rating suffers because of this, and Congress is fighting these nonsensical battles instead of fixing our tax code, repairing our national transportation infrastructure, modernizing our digital highways, or anything of actual meaning. We can't keep sniping at the Presidents we don't like. We vote, and sometimes our guy loses. That doesn't mean that we continue the failed campaign for the next four years. We cooperate, oppose reasonably, and try again next time. But this impeachment and lawsuit circus has to stop before we destroy the country we're trying to protect.

    July 25, 2014 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
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