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. LEK

    Impeach the President for what? The question/action should be what action can America take against those in the House/Senate who don't do their job? What a joke. History will tell a different story on this time period.

    July 25, 2014 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  2. kamarasune

    I disagree with that figure. Many that I know that voted for Obama have had a sharp change of heart in my area.

    July 25, 2014 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  3. yes

    he should never have been the president because he is not a president.

    July 25, 2014 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  4. bhartman36

    Articles like this are ultimately disappointing, because they never tell you exactly how the question was asked, or the demographic breakdown of the people they asked the question to.

    July 25, 2014 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  5. None

    In other words, 65% do not want the president impeached. This headline is ridiculous.

    July 25, 2014 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  6. JDalco

    And that with a country where most folks don't follow politics until a few weeks before an election. . . if more people were watching what was going on this would be much higher.

    Of course if more people watched what DC was doing our country would not be in this mess in the first place. . . .

    July 25, 2014 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  7. Jerrell Feyre

    Pathetic CNN....first you spin the research as if this is no big deal for the President. I suspect that the headline for the article back in '06, WITH EVEN MORE SUPPORT FOR NOT IMPEACHING W, had a considerably different tone?? "Presidency teetering on the edge with 30% wanting impeachment" or some comparable crock.

    And second, as a lawyer, who gives a flip if the general public supports Congress suing the President. This is as fundamental a constitutional law question and separation of power issue as there could be. I don't trust the general public to set aside their political persuasions to understand that certain things are fundamental to protecting the Republic as a whole. The majority know nothing about the constitution let alone constitutional law.

    July 25, 2014 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  8. bhartman36

    Polls like this are ultimately disappointing, because they never tell you exactly what question was asked, or the demographic breakdown of who they asked the question to.

    July 25, 2014 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  9. Ajax

    Well then, that means 35% of the group surveyed are delusional if they think it's even a possibility. There have been "impeachers" for every President since George Washington. They are easy to spot as they are usually the people who refer to the President by his last name only. No respect for the office, no respect for the people who elected him.

    July 25, 2014 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  10. Bill Rettberg

    This president is beyond impeachment. The damage done to this country on so many levels will haunt us long after we are all gone. I suggest he be held as an enemy combatant and sent to Guantanamo. If nothing else get him there by holding a fundraiser and telling him there is a golf course. At least when he is on the road, he isn't sitting in the oval office thinking of ways to destroy the country.

    July 25, 2014 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  11. gordo

    somehow, cnn tries to spin this as good news. just more evidence that this network is the west wing – south

    July 25, 2014 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  12. Natya

    Gee CNN, that's an interesting way to spin the poll. You downplay that fully 1/3 of Americans want the President impeached. That's serious stuff. That equates to about 110 millions Americans saying he has so abused his office that he should be removed from said office. How do you downplay that with any measure of integrity?

    July 25, 2014 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  13. Ryan

    "...President should not be removed from office."
    Can we please stop confusing impeachment with removal from office? Impeach means to charge with wrongdoing of some kind. I doubt that the largely illiterate portion of the public responsible for all this impeachment talk really cares about the meaning of the words they use, but there you go anyway.

    July 25, 2014 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  14. TomInRochNY

    Even though this shows that most people don't want the GOP to go down this road I have no doubts that the right will say this is a mandate from the masses and do it anyway.

    July 25, 2014 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  15. KA

    Is this wrong caption or is there an agenda to misrepresent the truth. Shouldn't the caption be 65%, majority say no to impeachment? Truth is truth no matter how much it is twisted.

    July 25, 2014 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  16. Michael E

    If President Obama had really done anything worthy of impeachment, his friends in the house would have impeached him months ago. The reality is that simply doing his job does not count. The whole point about him postpoing the implementation of the law by a few months is totally consistent with the flexibility afforded to Presidents who implement laws. Bush did the same thing with the Medicare reforms without a whimper.

    The whole notion of the imperial presidency is the creation of a right wing media that needs to have something to complain about to feed the 35% who want to impeach him.

    July 25, 2014 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  17. Impeach Republican Congress

    This is sooo hilarious, when everyone knows the only ones who need to REALLY be impeach are the Obstructionist, lazy, do nothing (AND still getting paid tax payers money) REPUBLICAN CONGRESS.

    July 25, 2014 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  18. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Another useless poll the GOPT are going to do whatever they want to. And they've been out to get him from the day he was nominated over Hillary. Carry on GOPT.

    July 25, 2014 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  19. PJ

    Ridiculous!! Of course all the extremist GOP would say yes to Impeach. The same people who cheered on Bush and Cheney.

    July 25, 2014 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  20. Uben

    Republicans would impeach their mother for serving them spinach. This is so childish. Its also the reason I could never vote for a republican. You reap what you sow, and these morons can't see they're alienating voters from an already dying conservative party. Its a joy watching them implode!

    July 25, 2014 07:06 am at 7:06 am |
  21. McBob79

    One of the most incompetent presidents in modern times, but incompetence is not a high crime... just painful to watch and live.

    July 25, 2014 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  22. Alvin Cavanaugh

    I wonder how broad a spectrum they polled? They certainly didn't call me. I just don't believe that the majority of Americans DON'T want him impeached.

    July 25, 2014 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  23. we see your bias

    once again a bias poll by a bias organization.

    July 25, 2014 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  24. Corey Burkes

    What's wrong with these people? Do they even know 'why' they want President Obama impeached? Scraping the barrel for reasons, just so things can show on the news in bold letters: Impeach the president when he did nothing. I would go as far as to say he has done far LESS than any president thus far. Mostly because anything the man does is a call for arms. Where were these voices when President Bush was ignoring all civil liberty rights and ...oops...here comes the Patriot Act. You must have forgotten already.

    July 25, 2014 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  25. BOB

    How about we just impeach all of congress.

    July 25, 2014 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
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