10/31/2019 Peter Durantine

F&M Poll: Pa. Voters Support Impeachment Inquiry

Thirty-seven percent of registered voters in Pennsylvania believe President Donald Trump is doing an “excellent or good job,” similar to Barack Obama’s standing at this same point in his presidency, according to the recent Franklin & Marshall College Poll. 

Most of those respondents, 74 percent, said they would vote for Trump, regardless of who challenges him in the 2020 election. 

Conversely, according to the survey, 59 percent of voters overall called for a change in presidential leadership and 85 percent of those respondents said they will vote against Trump no matter who runs against him next year.

“These numbers could change depending on the health of the economy and who the Democrats choose as their nominee to challenge Trump,” said F&M Poll Director Terry Madonna. “Will the turnout of Trump’s base then be higher than it was in 2016? Will there be enthusiasm among the Democrats?” 

Conducted before the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives voted this week to approve an impeachment inquiry into scandals involving Trump’s presidency, the poll showed that 57 percent of the state’s voters supported the inquiry.

Forty-seven percent of those respondents expressed “strong support” for the inquiry; 36 percent believe President Trump broke the law, or participated in a corrupt or criminal act; and 14 percent of respondents said they support the inquiry because that want to discover the truth. 

On the other hand, 37 percent of voters “strongly oppose” the impeachment inquiry, and 21 percent of respondents, regardless of how they feel about the inquiry, believe that it is acceptable for a president to ask a foreign leader to investigate political opponents. 

“The argument for or against the impeachment inquiry follows the news coverage,” said Berwood Yost, the poll’s chief methodologist and co-director. “I think it’s important to recognize that where we are now won’t be where we are a month of two from now.”  

Support for former Vice President Joe Biden as top choice for president among registered Democrats ticked up two points since the August poll to 30 percent; U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren fell three points to 18 percent. Among liberals, Warren is preferred 31 percent and Biden 24 percent while moderates overwhelmingly prefer Biden at 40 percent.

According to the F&M poll, 75 percent of registered voters “strongly supports” enhancing the gun background check system and 62 percent “strongly favors” the implementation of laws that give courts the ability to seize an individual’s firearms, if they are judged a threat to themselves or others. The poll showed majorities in all party and ideological groups support the proposals. 

The F&M Poll was conducted Oct. 21-27. It, like all surveys, is a snapshot of a specific point in time, not a forecast. All polls have variability; voters change their minds; and events after a survey can sometimes influence voters’ decisions, including whether to vote at all.

Conducted by the Center for Opinion Research at F&M, the poll reflects interviews with 482 Pennsylvania registered voters, including 226 Democrats, 188 Republicans and 68 independents. The sample error is plus or minus 6.1 percentage points.

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