MONMOUTH NATIONAL POLL: PARTISAN OPINION ON TRUMP DIGS IN

Monmouth University Poll examines President Donald J. Trump's job rating and the impeachment question.

Public support for impeachment inquiry, but few have a lot of trust in it

               West Long Branch, NJ – President Donald Trump’s approval rating remains stable as the impeachment inquiry intensifies, with evidence that both sides of public opinion are digging in.  The Monmouth University Poll finds that support for an inquiry, as well as for impeachment itself, have ticked up, but there is not a great deal of public trust in how the process is unfolding.  Partisan opinion is sharply divided on Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president, even to the point of disagreeing on the widely reported content of the call itself.  Most Americans say that those who want to remove Trump from office would be smarter to focus on the next election rather than impeachment, including a sizable number of those who actually support impeachment.

The president’s job rating stands at 43% approve and 51% disapprove. This is not significantly different from his 41% to 53% rating in late September, just after news broke about Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian president. Over the past 12 months, the president’s approval rating has ranged from 40% to 44% in Monmouth’s polling, while his disapproval rating has ranged from 49% to 54%.

STRENGTH  OF TRUMP JOB RATING

Nov ’19

Jan ’18

Aug ’17

Approve, will not change

27%

21%

25%

Approve, could change

16%

21%

16%

Disapprove, could change

15%

20%

21%

Disapprove, will not change

36%

30%

28%

No opinion

6%

  8%

10%

Trump’s overall rating has been fairly stable with evidence that both sides of public opinion have become more entrenched over the past two years. Currently, 27% of Americans say they approve of Trump’s job performance and cannot foresee anything that would change their minds, while a larger number (36%) say their disapproval of the president is unmovable. Compared with January 2018, firm approval has increased by 6 points from 21% and firm disapproval has increased by 6 points from 30%.  On the other hand, the number of people who say their opinion of Trump could change has decreased from 41% in January 2018 to 31% now.

“These results suggest that the partisan tribes on both sides are digging in as the impeachment spotlight intensifies,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Another issue on which opinion has become more entrenched is whether Trump has kept his promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington. Currently, 30% say he has made progress in this area, which is up from 23% who said the same in June. At the same time, 37% say Trump has actually made the swamp worse, which is up from 32% this past summer. Another 25% say that nothing has really changed in Washington’s “swamp,” a number that has dropped from 35% in June.

One aspect of public opinion that has not changed is the fact that few Americans are surprised by how Trump has behaved in office.  Just 19% say they are surprised by his behavior as president while more than 3-in-4 (79%) say his behavior really doesn’t surprise them.  This opinion is practically unchanged from June 2019 (21% surprised and 77% not) and April 2018 (19% surprised and 79% not).

– Impeachment opinion –

At this time, 44% of Americans feel that Trump should be impeached and compelled to leave the presidency, while 51% disagree with this course of action. These results are similar to a Monmouth University Poll taken in late September (44% for impeachment and 52% against), but remain higher than impeachment support measured over the summer (35% for and 59% against in August and June).

            When presented with four statements about impeachment and Trump’s behavior in office, a plurality (37%) say that his actions are clearly grounds for impeachment and another 17% say that his actions should be looked into as possible impeachable offenses. On the other side of public opinion, just 16% say Trump has not done anything wrong at all and 28% say that some of his actions may have been improper but do not rise to the level of an impeachable offense.

Just over half of Americans (51%) say it is a good idea for the House of Representatives to conduct an inquiry which may or may not lead to impeachment. Another 44% say this is a bad idea.  After the Ukraine news broke in late September, a Monmouth poll asking about the inquiry specifically in reference to the House Judiciary Committee found that 49% saw it as a good idea and 43% as a bad idea.  This opinion has not shifted significantly over the past month, but support for a House inquiry remains higher than when it was first announced in August (41% good idea and 51% bad idea).

– Trust in the inquiry –

While there is growing public support for an inquiry, the public is not very confident with the process to date. Just 24% say they have a lot of trust in how the House impeachment inquiry has been conducted so far, 29% have a little trust, and 44% have no trust at all. Among those who support impeaching and removing Trump from office, 46% have a lot of trust in the process so far, 40% have a little trust, and 12% have no trust.  Among those who oppose impeachment, just 6% have a lot of trust and 20% have a little trust, while 71% have no trust. Half the public (50%) believes that holding more of the impeachment hearings in public will increase trust in the process, 17% say it will decrease trust, and 29% say it will have no impact.

Neither political party is seen as particularly high-minded in this process. Just 31% of Americans say congressional Democrats are more interested in pursuing the facts while 60% say they are more interested in finding ways to bring down Trump. Even fewer Americans (25%) say congressional Republicans are more interested in pursuing the facts while 61% say they are more interested in finding ways to defend Trump.

– Removing Trump from office –

            Few Americans (24%) believe that the U.S. Senate would remove Trump from office in an impeachment trial.  This sentiment is largely unchanged from August (20%).  Seven-in-ten (71%) do not think it is likely the Senate would remove Trump. Even among those who support impeaching the president, just 39% think it is likely that the Senate would vote to remove Trump from office.

            Most Americans (59%) agree with the statement that “if you want Trump out of office, it makes more sense to focus on next year’s election rather than go through an impeachment process now.”  Just one-third of the public (34%) disagrees with this view. Even among those who support removing Trump from office via impeachment, 4-in-10 (39%) actually agree that focusing on next year’s election provides a better opportunity to remove him from office.

“Even many who would like to impeach Trump seem to feel that beating him at the polls in 2020 is actually a better strategy for ousting him from office,” said Murray.

– Ukraine –

            Although the Ukraine story has dominated the news over the past month, 11% of Americans say they haven’t heard anything about Trump’s phone call with the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy.  This is down from 21% who heard nothing about it just after the news broke. Another 64% have heard a lot (up from 52% in late September) and 25% have heard a little (similar to 27%).

            Seven-in-10 Americans (70%) believe that Trump probably mentioned an investigation into the Biden family during his call with Zelenskiy. This view is up from 62% in late September. Another 15% say he probably did not do this and 14% are unsure. When asked about the nature of that exchange, 52% of the public says Trump made promises or put pressure on Zelenskiy to investigate Biden, which is up slightly from 45% who said the same after the news first broke.  Another 22% believe he did not do this, which is similar to 20% in late September.  However, there have been some shifts within partisan groups. Among Republicans, just 14% say Trump made promises or put pressure on Zelenskiy (nearly identical to 16% in late September), but 44% say he did not (which is up from 35% just after the news broke).  Among Democrats, 91% say Trump did this and just 2% say he did not (compared with 78% and 6%, respectively, in late September).

            “Whether you feel that Trump’s request was appropriate or not, the conversation clearly involved some form of quid pro quo based on statements directly from the White House. Still, the president’s partisan supporters have become more likely to deny it even happened. This really shouldn’t be unexpected, though, given what we have seen about deepening partisan tribalism in public opinion over the past few years,” said Murray.

            This partisan split in opinion also applies to the involvement of the president’s advisers. Overall, 45% of the public thinks that other members of the Trump administration made promises or put pressure on Zelenskiy to investigate Biden, while 34% say they did not. Among Republicans, 10% say other members of the administration did this and 66% say they did not.  Among Democrats, the results are 77% did and 10% did not.  The poll also finds that a majority of Americans (54%) believe that Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney, was representing Trump’s wishes when he met with Ukrainian officials about the investigation, while 25% say Giuliani was acting on his own.  Among Republicans, 26% say Giuliani was representing the president and 41% say he was acting on his own.  Among Democrats, 82% say Giuliani was representing the president and 12% say he was acting on his own.

– Congressional ratings –

The Monmouth University Poll also finds there has been little movement in the rating of Congress or its leadership. Currently, 23% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing and 64% disapprove. This rating stood at 21% approve and 68% disapprove in September.  Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi earns a 31% approve and 45% disapprove job rating, with 24% having no opinion. This is similar to her rating of 34% approve and 45% disapprove in January 2019, the last time Monmouth asked about congressional leaders.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell earns a 15% approve and 39% disapprove rating, with 46% having no opinion. This is similar to his January 2019 rating of 15% approve and 40% disapprove.

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from October 30 to November 3, 2019 with 908 adults in the United States.  The question results in this release have a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percentage points. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.

QUESTIONS AND RESULTS     

(* Some columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.)

1.     Do you approve or disapprove of the job Donald Trump is doing as president?

  TREND:

Nov.
2019

Sept.
2019

Aug.
2019

June
2019

May
2019

April 2019

March 2019

Jan.
2019

Nov.
2018

Aug.
2018

June
2018

April
2018

March
2018

Jan.
2018

Approve

43%

41%

40%

41%

40%

40%

44%

41%

43%

43%

43%

41%

39%

42%

Disapprove

51%

53%

53%

50%

52%

54%

51%

54%

49%

50%

46%

50%

54%

50%

(VOL) No opinion

6%

6%

7%

9%

8%

6%

5%

5%

8%

7%

11%

9%

8%

8%

(n)

(908)

(1,161)

(800)

(751)

(802)

(801)

(802)

(805)

(802)

(805)

(806)

(803)

(803)

(806)

  TREND:

Continued

Dec.
2017

Sept.
2017

Aug.
2017

July
2017

May
2017

March
2017

Approve

32%

40%

41%

39%

39%

43%

Disapprove

56%

49%

49%

52%

53%

46%

(VOL) No opinion

12%

11%

10%

9%

8%

11%

(n)

(806)

(1,009)

(805)

(800)

(1,002)

(801)

2.     Do you approve or disapprove of the job the U.S. Congress is doing?

  TREND:

Nov.
2019

Sept.
2019

Aug.
2019

June
2019

May
2019

April
2019

March
2019

Jan.
2019

Approve

23%

21%

17%

19%

20%

24%

23%

18%

Disapprove

64%

68%

71%

69%

71%

62%

68%

72%

(VOL) No opinion

13%

11%

13%

12%

9%

14%

9%

10%

(n)

(908)

(1,161)

(800)

(751)

(802)

(801)

(802)

(805)

  TREND: Continued

Nov.
2018

Aug.
2018

June
2018

April
2018

March
2018

Jan.
2018

Dec.
2017

Sept.
2017

Aug.
2017

July
2017

May
2017

March
2017

Jan.
2017

Approve

23%

17%

19%

17%

18%

21%

16%

17%

18%

19%

19%

25%

23%

Disapprove

63%

69%

67%

71%

72%

68%

65%

69%

69%

70%

68%

59%

66%

(VOL) No opinion

14%

14%

14%

12%

11%

11%

19%

15%

13%

11%

13%

16%

11%

(n)

(802)

(805)

(806)

(803)

(803)

(806)

(806)

(1,009)

(805)

(800)

(1,002)

(801)

(801)

  TREND: Continued

Sept.
2016*

Aug.
2016*

June
2016*

March
2016

Jan.
2016

Dec.
2015

Oct.
2015

Sept.
2015

Aug.
2015

July
2015

June
2015

April
2015

Jan.
2015

Dec.
2014

July
2013

Approve

15%

14%

17%

22%

17%

16%

17%

19%

18%

18%

19%

21%

18%

17%

14%

Disapprove

77%

78%

76%

68%

73%

73%

71%

71%

72%

69%

71%

67%

70%

73%

76%

(VOL) No opinion

8%

9%

7%

10%

10%

10%

12%

11%

11%

12%

10%

12%

11%

11%

10%

(n)

(802)

(803)

(803)

(1,008)

(1,003)

(1,006)

(1,012)

(1,009)

(1,203)

(1,001)

(1,002)

(1,005)

(1,003)

(1,008)

(1,012)

*Registered voters

 

3.     Would you say things in the country are going in the right direction, or have they gotten off on the wrong track?

  TREND:

Nov.
2019

Sept.
2019

Aug.
2019

June
2019

May
2019

April
2019

March
2019

Nov.
2018

Aug.
2018

June
2018

April
2018

March
2018

Jan.
2018

Right direction

30%

30%

28%

31%

29%

28%

29%

35%

35%

40%

33%

31%

37%

Wrong track

61%

61%

62%

62%

63%

62%

63%

55%

57%

53%

58%

61%

57%

(VOL) Depends

7%

6%

8%

6%

4%

7%

6%

7%

6%

3%

5%

6%

3%

(VOL) Don’t know

2%

2%

2%

2%

3%

3%

2%

3%

3%

3%

4%

1%

3%

(n)

(908)

(1,161)

(800)

(751)

(802)

(801)

(802)

(802)

(805)

(806)

(803)

(803)

(806)

  TREND: Continued

Dec.
2017

Aug.
2017

May
2017

March
2017

Jan.
2017

Aug.
2016*

Oct.
2015

July
2015

June
2015

April
2015

Dec.
2014

July
2013

Right direction

24%

32%

31%

35%

29%

30%

24%

28%

23%

27%

23%

28%

Wrong track

66%

58%

61%

56%

65%

65%

66%

63%

68%

66%

69%

63%

(VOL) Depends

7%

4%

5%

4%

4%

2%

6%

5%

5%

5%

5%

5%

(VOL) Don’t know

3%

5%

3%

5%

2%

3%

4%

3%

3%

2%

3%

4%

(n)

(806)

(805)

(1,002)

(801)

(801)

(803)

(1,012)

(1,001)

(1,002)

(1,005)

(1,008)

(1,012)

      *Registered voters

4A.  [If APPROVE of Trump] Can you think of anything that Trump could do, or fail to do, in his term as president that would make you disapprove of the job he is doing, or not?

[n=401; moe = +/- 4.9%]

4B.  [If DISAPPROVE of Trump] Can you think of anything Trump could do, other than resign, in his term as president that would make you approve of the job he is doing, or not? [n=467; moe = +/- 4.5%]

TREND:

Nov.
2019

Jan.
2018

Aug.
2017

Yes

34%

45%

32%

No

62%

50%

61%

(VOL) Don’t know

4%

5%

6%

(n)

(401)

(341)

(329)

TREND:

Nov.
2019

Jan.
2018

Aug.
2017

Yes

26%

38%

40%

No

70%

60%

57%

(VOL) Don’t know

3%

3%

4%

(n)

(467)

(407)

(406)

[QUESTIONS 5 & 6 WERE ROTATED]

5.     Do you approve or disapprove of the job Mitch McConnell is doing as Senate Majority Leader, or do you have no opinion of him?

TREND:

Nov.
2019

Jan.
2019

Nov.
2018

April
2018

July
2017

Approve

15%

15%

15%

10%

12%

Disapprove

39%

40%

28%

38%

38%

No opinion

46%

45%

57%

52%

49%

(n)

(908)

(805)

(802)

(803)

(800)

6.     Do you approve or disapprove of the job Nancy Pelosi is doing as Speaker of the House, or do you have no opinion of her?

TREND:

Nov.
2019

Jan.
2019

Nov.
2018*

April
2018*

July
2017*

Approve

31%

34%

17%

17%

17%

Disapprove

45%

45%

38%

44%

42%

No opinion

24%

21%

45%

39%

41%

(n)

(908)

(805)

(802)

(803)

(800)

*Question wording was: “as House Minority Leader?”

[Note: Q7 was rotated with Q8-Trump reelection question, which will be released tomorrow.]

7.     Do you think President Trump should be impeached and compelled to leave the Presidency, or not?

  TREND:

Nov.
2019

Sept.
2019

Aug.
2019

June
2019

May
2019

March
2019

Nov.
2018

April
2018

Jan.
2018

July
2017

Yes, should

44%

44%

35%

35%

39%

42%

36%

39%

38%

41%

No, should not

51%

52%

59%

59%

56%

54%

59%

56%

57%

53%

(VOL) Don’t know

4%

5%

6%

6%

5%

4%

5%

5%

4%

6%

(n)

(908)

(1,161)

(800)

(751)

(802)

(802)

(802)

(803)

(806)

(800)

[Q8 held for future release.]

9.     Donald Trump promised to “drain the swamp” when he got to Washington. Would you say that he has made progress draining the swamp, that he has made the swamp worse, or that nothing has really changed?

TREND:

Nov.
2019

June
2019

Nov.
2018

April
2018

Dec.
2017

Aug.
2017

May
2017

Made progress draining the swamp

30%

23%

30%

25%

20%

25%

24%

Made the swamp worse

37%

32%

30%

31%

33%

26%

32%

Nothing has really changed

25%

35%

33%

37%

38%

39%

35%

(VOL) Don’t know

8%

9%

6%

7%

9%

10%

8%

(n)

(908)

(751)

(802)

(803)

(806)

(805)

(1,002)

10.   Now that he’s been in office for more than two years, are you surprised by how Donald Trump has behaved as president or doesn’t his behavior really surprise you. [If “surprised”: Is that very or just somewhat surprised?]

TREND:

Nov.
2019

June
2019

April
2018*

Yes, very surprised

12%

13%

9%

Yes, somewhat surprised

7%

8%

10%

No, not really surprised

79%

77%

79%

(VOL) Don’t know

2%

2%

2%

(n)

(908)

(751)

(803)

     *April 2018 question wording was: “Now that he’s been in office for more than a year…”

[Q11-14 held for future release.]

15.   Do you think it is a good idea or bad idea for the House of Representatives to conduct an impeachment inquiry into President Trump that may or may not lead to impeachment?

TREND:

Nov.
2019

Sept.
2019*

Aug.
2019*

Good idea

51%

49%

41%

Bad idea

44%

43%

51%

(VOL) Both

1%

1%

1%

(VOL) Don’t know

4%

7%

6%

(n)

(908)

(1,161)

(800)

      * Prior wording was “House Judiciary Committee”

16.   As you may know, impeachment is a two-step process. First, the House must pass articles of impeachment. Then, two-thirds of the Senate must agree with those articles in order to remove a sitting president. If the House does pass articles of impeachment, how likely is it that the Senate will actually vote to remove President Trump from office – very likely, somewhat likely, not too likely, or not at all likely?

TREND:

Nov.
2019

Aug.
2019

Very likely

8%

6%

Somewhat likely

16%

14%

Not too likely

29%

25%

Not at all likely

42%

50%

(VOL) Don’t know

5%

5%

(n)

(908)

(800)

17.   Which of the following comes closest to how you feel about impeachment: A. Trump has not done anything wrong at all; B. Some of Trump’s actions may have been improper, but they do not rise to the level of impeachment; C. Trump’s actions should be looked into as possible impeachable offenses; or D. Trump’s actions are clearly grounds for impeachment?

Nov.
2019

A. Trump has not done anything wrong at all

16%

B. Some of Trump’s actions may have been improper, but they do not rise to the level of impeachment

28%

C. Trump’s actions should be looked into as possible impeachable offenses

17%

D. Trump’s actions are clearly grounds for impeachment

37%

(VOL) Don’t know

2%

(n)

(908)

18.   Please tell me if you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree with the following statement: If you want Trump out of office, it makes more sense to focus on next year’s election rather than go through an impeachment process now.

Nov.
2019

Strongly agree

42%

Somewhat agree

17%

Somewhat disagree

14%

Strongly disagree

20%

(VOL) Rejects choice

3%

(VOL) Don’t know

3%

(n)

(908)

19.   Have you heard anything about recent reports that Donald Trump asked the Ukrainian president to investigate Joe Biden and his son, or haven’t you heard about this? [If YES: Have you heard a lot or just a little?]

TREND:

Nov.
2019

Sept.
2019

Yes, a lot

64%

52%

Yes, a little

25%

27%

No, not heard

11%

21%

(n)

(908)

(1,161)

20.   Do you think Donald Trump probably did or probably did not mention the possibility of an investigation into the Biden family during his conversation with the Ukrainian president?

TREND:

Nov.
2019

Sept.
2019

Probably did

70%

62%

Probably did not

15%

15%

(VOL) Don’t know

14%

23%

(n)

(908)

(1,161)

20A. Do you think Trump made any promises or put any pressure on the Ukrainian president in return for investigating Biden, such as giving or withholding aid, or did he not do this?

TREND:

Nov.
2019

Sept.
2019*

Yes, made promises/put pressure

52%

45%

No, did not do this

22%

20%

(VOL) Rejects choice or did not happen (from Q20)

16%

16%

(VOL) Don’t know

11%

19%

(n)

(908)

(1,161)

     * Sept. 2019 question wording was: “If this conversation happened…”

 

21.   Do you think other members of the Trump administration made any promises or put any pressure on the Ukrainian president in return for investigating Biden, such as giving or withholding aid, or did they not do this?

Nov.
2019

Yes, made promises/put pressure

45%

No, did not do this

34%

(VOL) Don’t know

21%

(n)

(908)

22.   When Rudy Giuliani met with Ukrainian officials about the investigation, do you think he was representing the wishes of President Trump, or was he acting more on his own?

Nov.
2019

Representing Trump

54%

More on his own

25%

(VOL) Both

3%

(VOL) Don’t know

17%

(n)

(908)

23.   How much trust do you have in the way the House impeachment inquiry has been conducted so far – a lot, a little, or none at all?

Nov.
2019

A lot

24%

A little

29%

None at all

44%

(VOL) Don’t know

3%

(n)

(908)

24.   Do you think holding more of the impeachment hearings in public will increase or decrease trust in the process, or will it have no impact?

Nov.
2019

Increase

50%

Decrease

17%

No impact

29%

(VOL) Don’t know

5%

(n)

(908)

[QUESTIONS 25 & 26 WERE ROTATED]

25.   Do you think the Democrats in Congress are more interested in pursuing the facts wherever they might lead or more interested in finding ways to bring down President Trump?

Nov.
2019

Pursuing the facts

31%

Bringing down Trump

60%

(VOL) Both/depends

7%

(VOL) Don’t know

2%

(n)

(908)

26.   Do you think the Republicans in Congress are more interested in pursuing the facts wherever they might lead or more interested in finding ways to defend President Trump?

Nov.
2019

Pursuing the facts

25%

Defending Trump

61%

(VOL) Both/depends

5%

(VOL) Don’t know

8%

(n)

(908)

METHODOLOGY

The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from October 30 to November 3, 2019 with a national random sample of 908 adults age 18 and older. This includes 364 contacted by a live interviewer on a landline telephone and 544 contacted by a live interviewer on a cell phone, in English. Telephone numbers were selected through random digit dialing and landline respondents were selected with a modified Troldahl-Carter youngest adult household screen. Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis. The full sample is weighted for region, age, education, gender and race based on US Census information (CPS 2018 supplement). Data collection support provided by Braun Research (field) and Dynata (RDD sample). For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points (unadjusted for sample design). Sampling error can be larger for sub-groups (see table below). In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

DEMOGRAPHICS (weighted)

Self-Reported

29% Republican

42% Independent

29% Democrat

 

48% Male

52% Female

 

30% 18-34

33% 35-54

37% 55+

 

64% White

12% Black

16% Hispanic

  8% Asian/Other

 

68% No degree

32% 4 year degree

 

MARGIN OF ERROR

unweighted  sample

moe
(+/-)

TOTAL

 

908

3.3%

REGISTERED VOTER

Yes

835

3.4%

No

73

11.5%

SELF-REPORTED PARTY ID

Republican

271

6.0%

Independent

385

5.0%

Democrat

243

6.3%

IDEOLOGY

Liberal

210

6.8%

Moderate

320

5.5%

Conservative

349

5.3%

GENDER

Male

438

4.7%

Female

470

4.5%

AGE

18-34

163

7.7%

35-54

363

5.2%

55+

378

5.1%

RACE

White, non-Hispanic

696

3.7%

Other

178

7.4%

COLLEGE GRADUATE

No degree

412

4.8%

4 year degree

492

4.4%

WHITE COLLEGE

White, no degree

320

5.5%

White, 4 year degree

374

5.1%

INCOME

<$50K

271

6.0%

$50 to <100K

273

5.9%

$100K+

288

5.8%

2016 VOTE BY COUNTY

 

Trump 10+ pts

305

5.6%

Swing <10 pts

183

7.3%

Clinton 10+ pts

419

4.8%

 

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