Three-quarters of registered voters think witnesses should be allowed to testify in the Senate impeachment trial, which has reached a crucial inflection point, a new national poll from Quinnipiac University finds.
This includes 49% of Republicans who think witnesses should be allowed to testify, 75% of independents and 95% of Democrats.
President Donald Trump’s legal team ended their opening arguments Tuesday afternoon and the trial now moves on to a 16-hour period for senators to ask questions. Following that could be a vote on whether to bring witnesses, which has long been seen as a critical vote but has taken on new importance in the wake of news reports on former Trump national security adviser John Bolton’s book.
In his unpublished manuscript, Bolton writes Trump told him in August that he was withholding $391 million in aid until Ukraine announced a probe into the Bidens, according to The New York Times.
The poll shows 20% of registered voters do not want witnesses called at the trial.
Almost half of registered voters (47%) want the Senate to remove Trump (48% not), the same as a poll taken earlier this month.
A majority of voters (89%) have their mind made up on whether Trump should be removed from office or not (10% say they could change their minds). A large majority also see the Senate Republicans and Senate Democrats as having already made up their minds about the impeachment process, rather than being open minded (76% say so of the Senate Republicans, 79% say so of the Senate Democrats).
Almost three-in-five (57%) want to hear more details of Trump’s explanation for his actions and 38% are satisfied with the explanation given. Among Democrats, 85% want more details. The same can be said of 61% of independents and 21% of Republicans.
More than half of voters (between 52%-54%) say that Trump has abused his power, isn’t telling the truth about his actions and has obstructed Congress. Another 52% believe the Trump administration’s withholding of US aid to Ukraine was not justified, while 34% say it was.
Trump’s attempts to pressure Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden and Joe Biden, his potential political rival, are at the center of the President’s impeachment trial. Trump has repeatedly made unfounded and false claims to allege that the Bidens acted improperly in Ukraine. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe or Hunter Biden.
Trump’s approval rating holds steady – 43% approve and 52% disapprove, the same as in January and December. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s approval rating has ticked down very slightly to 33% approve and 50% disapprove after a recent high earlier in January at 36% (from 24% in October 2019). Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s approval rating has also remained stable – 35% approve, 44% disapprove.
The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted by telephone January 22 through 27 among 1,905 self-identified registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.3 percentage points.