Trump impeachment drama not changing minds, opinion polls show

US President Donald Trump watches the action during the second half of the Army-Navy game at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, on Dec 14, 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS/USA TODAY

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - The televised drama that has gripped Washington and parts of the nation over the past month has done little to change public opinion about US President Donald Trump and impeachment, according to two polls released on Sunday (Dec 15).

Half of those surveyed think the president should be impeached and removed from office with 41% opposed, according to a Fox News survey.

In a separate CBS poll, 46% said Trump deserved to be impeached over his actions toward Ukraine, up from 43% in November.

Days before the House is expected to impeach Trump, only 42% in the CBS survey said that the Senate should then convict and remove him. One in five said the Senate shouldn't hold a trial at all.

"Few of the respondents we recontacted from last month have changed their mind on this issue," CBS said.

Trump's job approval rating ticked higher in the Fox poll, to 45% from 42% in late October, and dipped in the CBS measurement, to 44% from 46% in November.

By a 60% to 24% margin, voters told Fox that it's generally wrong for Trump to ask leaders of foreign countries to investigate political rivals, and 53% said the president had abused his power. Responses to the survey fell broadly along partisan lines.

Only 23% of voters surveyed by Fox approve of the job Congress is doing, against 62% who disapprove. When asked who's better at "Washington gamesmanship," 41% picked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and 37% said Trump.

Debate also continues to rage about the actions of the FBI in 2016, as it launched an investigation into Russian interference in the US election and the actions of the Trump campaign.

Some 71% of Republicans, compared with 38% of Democrats, said there was a chance the FBI broke the law, the Fox poll showed.

In the CBS survey, Americans were split equally between those who think workers in government agencies like the FBI and the Foreign Service act in non-partisan ways, those who think they are partisan and politically motivated, and those who aren't sure.

The Fox survey of 1,000 registered voters was taken Dec 8-11 under the direction of Beacon Research, a Democratic polling firm, and the Republican pollsters Shaw & Company. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The CBS News poll of 4,584 US residents was conducted Dec 11-13 by YouGov. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 1.7 percentage points.

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