National poll: US majority wants to see Trump removed from office

The latest polling suggests Republican rhetoric about Trump and his scandal isn't resonating nearly as much as the party likes to think.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump waves following a campaign rally in Toledo
Donald Trump(C) Carlo Allegri / Reuters / REUTERS
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By Steve Benen

As Donald Trump's impeachment trial gets underway in the Senate, a new CNN poll offers the president and his party very little in the way of encouraging news.

About half of Americans say the Senate should vote to convict President Donald Trump and remove him from office in the upcoming impeachment trial (51%), according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS, while 45% say the Senate should vote against conviction and removal.

Nearly seven in 10 (69%) say that upcoming trial should feature testimony from new witnesses who did not testify in the House impeachment inquiry.

Even a plurality of Republican voters agree that the Senate should consider new information from witnesses -- a position the White House and most GOP lawmakers now oppose.

Other results add to the bleak picture for Trump: not only does the CNN poll show that a narrow majority of Americans believe the president should be removed from office, but 57% agree that Trump obstructed the House impeachment inquiry, while 58% believe he abused the powers of his office.

What's more, the picture is getting worse for the president, not better: CNN polls have been asking respondents since June 2018 whether Trump should be impeached and removed from office, and the latest 51% finding is the highest to date.

As we discussed last week, I continue to believe survey results like these represent more than just political trivia.

For one thing, it suggests Republican rhetoric about Trump and his scandal isn't resonating nearly as much as the party likes to think. For another, the president may hope to intimidate members of Congress into steering clear of holding him accountable, telling them the public is on his side, but there's ample evidence to the contrary, which should help stiffen the spines of wavering lawmakers.

Finally, there's historical parallel to keep in mind: in late July 1974, Gallup released a poll just 11 days before Richard Nixon was forced to announce he would resign in disgrace. The survey found at the time that 46% of Americans wanted to see the corrupt Republican removed from office.

An his impeachment trial begins, an even greater percentage of Americans want to see Trump ousted now.

MORE: Today's Maddowblog