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. michael

    Impeachment used to be used for breaking laws, now the term is tossed around when people arent happy. Sad.

    July 25, 2014 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  2. 0RacKL

    The Republicans impeached Clinton for lying about the Monica Lewinsky affair, which was a trifling, silly, idiotic waste of time and taxpayer money when it's compared to the destructive, murderous fiasco that the Bush Regime pulled off in Iraq a few years later. An entire country was destroyed and hundreds of thousands of lives were lost - and for what? WMDs that have never been found. Clinton was impeached for a private sexual episode that didn't hurt anybody, but nobody dared to impeach the Bush administration for war crimes. Now the GOP is at it again. I believe these events show a great deal about the backwardness of what I'll refer to as "Republican think." Surely they can find better things to do with their time and taxpayer money.

    July 25, 2014 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  3. John

    And of the 33% who voted for impeachment, 95% of them couldn't name an impeachable offense, let alone identify one that Obama supposedly did. The Tea Party and Fox News really have the ignorant riled up.

    July 25, 2014 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  4. Ron

    Well, of course 35% say to impeach the President. That is the approximate number of diehard Republicans, at any given time!

    July 25, 2014 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  5. Tampa Tim

    That 33% also blames Obama for Katrina, thinks Mittens killed bin Laden, thinks Iraq was involved in 9-11-2001, thinks money is free speech, believes corporations are people, and imagines fertilized eggs are people but children are not.

    July 25, 2014 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  6. Gary Sutphin

    The republican party is completely out of touch with the majority of americans. And the democrat party isn't doing a WHOLE lot better. Why...because the relatively tiny percentage of the population with the most money have a disproportionate say in what goes on. These oligarchs finance BOTH sides of the political fence. It's now just a big show. Political theater. They've essentially turned life in america into a scripted reality show. They even own the judges. They've covered every base there IS to cover.
    The fix is in.

    July 25, 2014 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  7. Ron

    Well, of course 33% say to impeach the President. That is the approximate number of diehard Republicans, at any given time!

    July 25, 2014 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  8. Stephen

    In the interest of balanced reporting, your next "poll" should be "Do you think we should impeach Congress".

    July 25, 2014 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  9. Rob

    Ask those same people that want him impeached if GWB should've been impeached and you'll get the definition of "Partisan Hack".

    July 25, 2014 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  10. dannygibas

    CNN, please stop being a lazy news agency by replacing actual reporting with useless popular opinion polls. They are completely irrelevant in most cases – especially when it comes to something like Impeachment – which is a legal process, not a popularity contest. You would think that a bunch of high schoolers are running this new outlet they way they treat reporting like a High School yearbook club.

    July 25, 2014 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  11. Rob

    CNN should be ashamed of itself for participating in this kind of tabloid trash news which borders on treason. The office of the President of the United States – no matter whom is in office – needs to be respected.

    July 25, 2014 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  12. Dan

    "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."

    Really? 33% is a LOT if the question is about impeaching and suing the President of the United States.

    July 25, 2014 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  13. Bob

    What's worse, the waste of taxpayer money, or President Biden?

    July 25, 2014 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Forget the poll, folks. If Republicans take control of the Senate and hold the House, then we will see an impeachment. The rabid among the right must be fed and placated. Otherwise, they will turn on their fellow conservatives much harder than they have been. You would see even more primary challenges.

    July 25, 2014 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  15. AppalachianMom

    Why doesn't the headline read 65% say Keep Obama?

    July 25, 2014 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  16. Peter Sandford

    It appears CNN is part of and promotes the political problem in this country by conducting a poll like this.

    July 25, 2014 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  17. cmml

    So more Americans think Obama should be impeached than they did for Clinton or for Bush...

    Does anyone need more evidence that this is a failed president and failed presidency?

    July 25, 2014 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  18. mb

    I blame the 35% on the 24/7 HATE machine of Fox,Limbaugh and Beck-GWBush lied us into a war losing hundreds of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars ,embassy workers killed, and ruined the economy and Obama who is bringing us out of all this is the one they are thinking of impeaching-where do the Repubs get off thinking they have the right to impeach every Democratic President duly elected by the American peopel from now on

    July 25, 2014 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  19. B. Lake

    Is that the same 35% of Americans who don't believe in evolution? The same 35% who believe that the Earth is 6,000 years old? Or is it the same 35% who believe that Obama is a Kenyan Muslim. Maybe it's the same 35% who believe in alien abductions or Bigfoot. Whatever, I fear for the collective IQ of this country. These polls, of course, are just ludicrous.

    July 25, 2014 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  20. Ctrygrl

    "Nearly eight in 10 say impeachment should be reserved for high crimes and misdemeanors," Holland adds. So only 8 in 10 believe what the Constitution says. You don't impeach a president because you don't like his policies. We've tried that twice with Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Just trot out the "high crimes and misdemeanors" the president has committed, the last I looked being black and pro active were not against the law. If Congress wants Obama to stop being pro active then they need to do something. They haven't done anything in 4 years.

    July 25, 2014 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  21. Zon

    That 35% is made up of the same people that think creationism should be taught in public schools and that Elvis is still alive.

    July 25, 2014 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  22. Larry38363

    The usual right wing extremist terrorists flexing their puny muscles! Come on people. They are trying to foment a take over of Our Government! It's time for this stupidity to stop!

    July 25, 2014 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  23. mg

    He must be impeached! I don't know the exact reasons why, but the Fox News guys seem adamant about it. And they are pretty fair and balanced.

    July 25, 2014 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  24. Kathleen Gallaway

    What is the impeachable offense? Oh yes the skin.

    July 25, 2014 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  25. Caseyhd

    I might be wrong but don't you have to have an actual reason to impeach?

    July 25, 2014 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
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