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. Mick

    That's it?

    July 25, 2014 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  2. Jacob Murphy

    I'd like someone (who writes with with some eloquence – not screaming, virtually) to explain to me what President Obama has done to deserve impeachment proceedings in their opinion. To the person who would do this, please don't hesitate (for me) to extend your prose to provide a detailed account. From my perspective, this is an important issue which cannot be properly handled through short statements or "tl;dr's."

    I'm not in favor of impeachment, but I can think of only one incident (of which I'm aware) which may deserving of such an action: the assassination of American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki. This is debatable, however, as it could be considered an act of war (as stated DOJ memo released in June). (I'll point out that a Yemeni judge did order his capture "dead or alive."

    Regardless, I would like for someone who supports impeachment to provide their reasoning.

    July 25, 2014 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  3. smith

    Impeachment and lawsuits are a waste and only further inflames the extreme in both parties.

    July 25, 2014 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  4. ElectricLion

    This would concern me except for one very important fact: Republicans have been banging the impeach drum since the day after Obama won the election in 2008. That's right, ladies and gents. Republicans started calling for his impeachment BEFORE HE EVEN TOOK OFFICE.

    July 25, 2014 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  5. Jim

    Scandal after scandal, broken laws and we wonder why impeachment is part of the narrative.

    July 25, 2014 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  6. John

    You try and make it sound as though the idea doesn't have much support, but in all actuality 35% is a high number.

    July 25, 2014 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  7. Cneder

    There is something seriously wrong with the other 65%.

    July 25, 2014 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  8. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Red Meat Friday!!! Eat up num num num num!!👅👅

    July 25, 2014 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "Alarming if Congress leaves for the August recess without acting,"
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Par for the course woudl be more like it.

    July 25, 2014 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  10. NonDemocrat

    I sure didn't see this poll, of I would've voted YES. Think CNN has rigged this.

    July 25, 2014 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  11. dave

    There's only one good reason to impeach Obama, that is, not enforcing immigration and labor laws. Most of our past Presidents should have been impeached for the same reason, and it will probably apply to future Presidents. The problem being, it would solve the immigration problem, which politicians don't want, for various reason, largely they want the continual source of cheap labor to keep wages/salaries down. The reasons for impeachment that have been put forward by republicans are just deflections, to avoid the real issue. We still have 11+ million illegals in the US, many holding down good jobs, illegally, while legal citizens don't have jobs. We really don't have accurate data and statistics concern the economy, because none of them consider the 11+ million illegal workers. The trouble with that is that capitalism only reacts to real facts, it is not influenced by made up stuff, propaganda, etc. Capitalsim knows that there are 11+ illegal workers, and reacts to that, not the made up stuff. It's not easy to dupe capitalism, in fact, impossible.

    July 25, 2014 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  12. Chuck

    For what? George Bush and Cheney lied about intelligence and pushed this country into a war with Iraq that ended up having disastrous consequences which continue today. If they weren't impeached for lying to congress and the American people, then what could Obama have done that would even compare?

    July 25, 2014 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  13. Someone

    What about the other 2%? lol

    July 25, 2014 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  14. FTRG8R

    As with Bill Clinton, the post-Gingrich conservative House believes that Obama was unqualified to be elected (by their standards), thus must be removed from office, i.e. "unelected". Isn't it nice that they're here to tell us what who we should have voted for and how to remedy our silly, bad judgement.

    A close reading of the Federalist Papers shows that the Founders believed that the Executive should be removed from office only for very serious misconduct, including criminal "high crimes". This House and Tea Party members seem to believe that simply disagreeing with the President's executive actions or sexual misconduct constitutes such crimes. The conveniently forget such misconduct in previous presidents, such as Warren Harding who had mistresses in the White House, presided over the Teapot Dome scandal, and may have fathered an illegitimate child while serving as Senator from Ohio in 1919

    Yet, that same group (many of those Representatives are still in the House considering the high incumbant re-election rate) and conservative commentators from Will and Krauthammer to Palin and Beck cast a blind eye to Bush the Younger's many signing statements, wherein he specifically said he wasn't going to enforce the law he'd just signed, since he felt it infringed upon his powers as the Executive.

    Is there no limit to their hypocrisy? Clinton's and Obama's conduct may rise to the level of misdemeanors and feckless incompetence, but at least be as critical of your own colleagues' misconduct as you are of the opposition's.

    In the meantime, to paraphrase Tom Coburn's remarks about this year's Senate race in Oklahoma, "We (Oklahomans) don't need other folks to tell us who to vote for; we can figure it out on our own".

    Go away, Sarah Palin–we can figure out who to elect on our own. We certainly did when it came to choosing whether to elect you.

    July 25, 2014 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  15. DC

    ONLY 35%? That is a pretty big number for a call of impeachment.

    July 25, 2014 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  16. sean

    35% of a cnn poll wants to see the president impeached and this article desperate to spin this in a positive way for the whitehouse? laughable.

    July 25, 2014 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  17. ThomasS666

    This–as MANY–survey is completely incidental. Impeachment–with only a couple of years remaining in his reign is only POSSIBLE in the abstract! It would be simply MORE smoke and mirrors from that group of incompetent fools in DC. (NO party is either mentioned OR inferred here!).
    In the span of my lifetime, I have watched partisanship/corrupt behavior go from the darkest recesses of 'our' government to what has become de rigueur AND accepted by us voters.
    To DEMAND either a façade (such as impeachment) OR responsible/nonprostitution-like behavior from 'our' leaders is simply no longer possible.
    Do as I do frequently, and issue a mea culpa to your Grandchildren. It is THEY who will pay for OUR sins, when this once great country finally collapses in on itself. "Our" politicians will scurry away from the light, to the moist darkness in which they BELONG, to watch 'their' constituents drown in a lake of THEIR creation!

    July 25, 2014 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  18. Peter

    If they didn't impeach Bush for getting us into Iraq under false pretenses and his tragically detached and sluggish response to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, then Obama is totally safe.

    July 25, 2014 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  19. Tarzan

    I bet that 34% doesn't even know what the word "impeach" means. It's so silly.

    July 25, 2014 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  20. RandyF

    That's the same percentaged that wanted to empeach him the day he won the election. Obama the Javkie Robinson of presidents.

    July 25, 2014 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  21. mutantsubhuman

    He would resign, collect his retirement, and continue on. Then we are stuck with Biden.

    July 25, 2014 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  22. Steve

    thats a WHOLE LOT of people that want him impeached already...sad that over 60% don't want to impeach Time Magazines 2013 Liar of the Year.

    July 25, 2014 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  23. FLUX

    Someone should ask Boehner what the Republicans will do a couple of years from now when Obama's term is over. What is their plan for the country, what is their agenda, what are their goals for the American people.? I'm a Republican and I'd like to know. Boehner has the party in a box and can not seem to think beyond Obama or control the right wing nut cases in the party. I think Boehner IS the problem.

    July 25, 2014 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  24. Just for one day....

    Sounds like a very clever bunch.

    On the other hand most people think Dick Cheney should be in prison for war crimes against humanity (and other assorted reasons including, well, just being Dick).

    So who knows....BTW who actually has 20 minutes during the day to answer these polls? Wait, don't tell me....

    July 25, 2014 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  25. Joe S

    What would be the charge? Impeachment is the same as an indictment so the target has to be accused of violating a specific law. You can't prosecute someone because you disagree with the way they operate within the confines of the law. The republicans want to use this as a way to hold a vote of no confidence like what is done in parliamentary governments – but that is an illegal use of the impeachment clause.

    July 25, 2014 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
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