Higher percentage of Americans want Trump's impeachment than wanted Nixon's as Watergate escalated: Poll

Key Points
  • A higher percentage of Americans support President Donald Trump's impeachment than supported President Richard Nixon's as Watergate was escalating, according to a Monmouth poll.
  • That may be due to a more partisan environment, according to Monmouth's Patrick Murray.
Trump's impeachment is more favorable than Nixon's

A higher percentage of Americans think President Donald Trump should be impeached now than wanted to see President Richard Nixon impeached six months into his second term, according to a Monmouth University poll released Monday.

Forty-one percent of Americans think Trump "should be impeached and compelled to leave the presidency," versus 53 percent who do not, according to the poll. That compares with 24 percent who supported Nixon's impeachment and 62 percent who did not in July 1973, when the Watergate scandal was escalating and about a year before Nixon resigned.

Support for Trump's impeachment is higher than Nixon's was even though the pair had roughly the same approval rating at those points in time, according to Monmouth. That may be a symptom of the more partisan environment that Trump faces, according to Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.

"Even though Trump's approval rating is similar to Nixon's, more Americans support impeachment today than did in 1973. That's partly due to the current epidemic of hyperpartisanship that was simply not prevalent 40 years ago," he said.

Trump came into office unpopular and has been dogged by an investigation into whether his campaign coordinated with the Russian government during the 2016 election and accusations that he fired former FBI Director James Comey to influence that probe. He has struggled to enact key pieces of his agenda as quickly as he would have hoped.

While a Democratic lawmaker has filed articles of impeachment against Trump, Democratic leaders and Republicans have shown little interest yet in impeachment. Republicans control both chambers of Congress.

Trump's approval in the Monmouth poll sits at 39 percent, versus 52 percent who disapprove. Still, his approval barely changed since May, when 39 percent of respondents approved and 53 percent disapproved.

Approval ratings fluctuate, so Trump's could always rise again.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request to comment on this article.

The telephone poll of 800 people was conducted from July 13 to July 16 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

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Trump's impeachment is more favorable than Nixon's