July 25th, 2014
06:00 AM ET
8 years 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.

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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. Mary1972

    Fine, the Left will accept the goof balls of the Right trying to impeach the President, if in turn we first put Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, Mr. Rumsfeld and Ms. Rice in jail for war crimes.
    Well said.

    July 25, 2014 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  2. Christo

    The report should read "35% of people who answer a landline and take the poll". In other words, it's old people who sit and watch Fox News all day. Great....

    July 25, 2014 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  3. stevelb1

    Its the 35% listening to the 24×7 Obama bashing machine on AM radio and Fox news. I say impeach congress. . Can't imagine if FDR had to deal with that during WW2.

    July 25, 2014 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  4. Hector Slagg

    Eh, Well,
    The Right is trying to preserve the country and the Left is selling it down the River. The Peasants are not in the Loop, so to speak. When a Politician (Polecat) promises you the moon, you don't look a Gift Horse in the mouth and hope for the best. The Liberal's all have good intentions. But the Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions!

    So the Question is, Why is anyone even talking about Impeachment?? Maybe, where there is Smoke, there is Fire. Hope you have a good retirement plan!!!

    July 25, 2014 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  5. Mary1972

    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. "
    Does that 20% know that the "Do Nothing Congress" wanted it the day Obama took office. They cannot accept a black guy in the WH and want to be proud of wasting tax payer's time and money when they have accomplished nothing. Why don;t we collect signature to impeach Bohner for leading the "Do Nothing Congress"?

    July 25, 2014 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  6. Sidewinder

    Isn't the percentage of Americans that want a given President impeached always about 30%? Just another distraction for congress to obscure the fact that they are not doing diddly squat. Why not sue over Benghazi? Oh wait, even less than nothing over there to work with...

    July 25, 2014 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  7. Victor

    35% of Independents want impeachment.... That's rather high.

    July 25, 2014 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  8. This Vote Counts

    Conservatives in Congress wasting more time and money. Vote them all OUT!

    July 25, 2014 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  9. Dadster

    If ever a reason existed for impeachment, it would be for the actions of House Republicans. When the President was first elected in 2008 Mitty McConnell stated for the record that they would do everything to make President Obama a 1 term President and Newty Gingrich even bragged on his show about meeting with at least a dozen other republican senators in a closed room after the election making plans to obstruct anything the President wanted to do. Why is this so outrageous? Because at the same time over 700,000 americans a month were losing their jobs, their homes, etc. Instead of thinking about what they could do to help these people, all they could think about were how to help themselves and their masters.

    July 25, 2014 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  10. Michael L

    All presidents at one time or another have likely committed some act that could justify impeachment. There was a large sentiment in the Democratic party to try and impeach Bush for the lies that lead up to the War in Iraq, but once she became House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi pretty much killed that idea before it got started.

    Impeachment is only supposed to be reserved for "high crimes and misdemeanors" which means you have to do something pretty serious to warrant being removed from office. Neither of the successful impeachments rose to that level, as Clinton's impeachment was really about sex, and Andrew Johnson's impeachment was about him being too nice to the South in the immediate post-Civil War era. Nixon might have qualified, but he had the common sense to resign, rather than let himself get impeached.

    July 25, 2014 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  11. M364

    If Pretzel Bush wasn't impeached, I doubt any president ever will be.
    Not liking a President, with a lot of them being for racial reasons – period (and, if you let people 'state their views' for a while, race comes up – is a far cry from one who takes a nation to war on a boldfaced lie leading many to their deaths. Not to mention a Vice that apparently has mental issues saying the next President is to blame for the war they started; seriously, how do you rationalize that?
    Finally, is there a valid reason for different forms of discussion services on different pages on this site?

    July 25, 2014 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  12. Shills

    I still don't believe the Presidential Election was truthful. It didn't make any sense and I suspect extreme corruption. America was impeaching him in the last election.

    July 25, 2014 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  13. jennijaycee

    I think that before they take any polls on whether or not Obama should be impeached, they should be educated on the laws, and handed a list of impeachable offenses he's committed. Most Americans are uneducated in politics, and many of those same Americans believe that the Sun revolves around the Earth. (This is no joke! Look it up!) THEN do the poll and you might have numbers closer to between 75% and 90%. Why isn't it 100%, you might ask? Because Obama is black, and the remaining population either will say 'no' because it is racist, or say 'no' because they don't want to be labeled AS a racist. Comparing Obama to Reagan, Clinton, or even Bush (who wasn't impeached but should have been), is like comparing a member of the Mafia to a High School clique of gangster 'wannabe's'. Obama is dangerous, and our country is no longer recognizable.

    July 25, 2014 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  14. Raoul Duke, Doctor of Journalism

    " a "get the black guy out of the WHITE house" reaction... They want history to show that the first black President was impeached."
    No, they want to "prove" some nonsense like the Birth Certificate or the "Barry Soetoro slander." Then they can say that a black man was NEVER president and the whole thing was a bad dream. Listen to them rant right here on these pages, pretending minorities have taken over and they are living in a dictatorship. Boo hoo, my favorite right-wing radio show was canceled, it's a dictatorship that's what it is.
    " how many of the dull-minded have been taken in by the lunatic right's continuing stream of bilge and propaganda. 35% sounds about right" Be fair, some of them are just rabid haters who know perfectly well there's no basis for impeachment but just want to add their barks to the dogpack.
    Bottom line: We voted for Obama because, unlike McCain/Palin, he was sane and educated and not in the pay of Halliburton. Pretending we are all welfare cheats trying to get free stuff just makes you seem gullible or deceptive. It's as dumb as pretending Ted Cruz didn't get you all to shut down your own government for his personal profit.

    July 25, 2014 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  15. Rainer

    Can Palin just fall into an Alaskan ice-crevace already

    July 25, 2014 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  16. greg

    Those numbers are similar to a poll for the percentage of Stupid and/or ignorant Americans.

    July 25, 2014 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  17. Sashatree

    Ridiculous waste of time and taxpayer dollars by the GOP! The GOP is only trying to (once again) rile up their rabid base with stupid things like this! They have done NOTHING except stand in Obama's way at every turn! They are SEDITIONISTS who should be thrown out of office!! The GOP doesn't care about America - only their partisan ideology!!

    July 25, 2014 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  18. David

    I say we impeach congress instead!

    July 25, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  19. BagRace

    Sound like a waste of time to me.

    July 25, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  20. laxattack33

    I am by no means enamored with the policies or decisions that the current president makes. However, NOTHING he has done rises to the level of an impeachable offense. Don't like him? Fine...don't vote for him next time. But, any calls for impeachment are ridiculous and a waste of time. IMHO

    July 25, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  21. davec0121

    This is another episode in the right wing's continued attempts to de-legitimize the results of elections whose outcomes they don't like. They were unable to defeat Obama (or Clinton) at the polls, so they try to nullify the results by de-legitimizing the office holder. First it was White Water, then the Clinton impeachment, then the birthers, then allegations of voter fraud, and now more impeachment babble – all part of the Right Wing's attempts to deny that the winner of the election really won and is actually entitled to hold the office. In this regard they are behaving like the losers in other countries – if you lose the election, just deny the validity of the results and refuse to accept them. Maybe we should call them Banana Republicans.

    July 25, 2014 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  22. ge

    why even bother with elections,let American ruling families make the laws and spend the tax money ,they pretty much do now .

    July 25, 2014 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  23. Anonymous

    It's the 65% that voted for Obama, NOT once, but TWICE.
    The 33% are the EXTREME'S that block congress from getting the will of the MAJORITY of voter's passed into law, this nonsense must stop!

    July 25, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  24. peterz

    Impeachment, was it a gossip using by GOP to cover for its decision of no-business.

    July 25, 2014 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  25. stubbycatt

    The lawsuit in question and the suggestion of impeachment is simply the vain attempt to intimidate. This only goes to show how foolish, wasteful, desperate, unamerican, godless, undesirable, primitive and unwise the GOP way of thinking is.

    July 25, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
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