Impeachment poll: Bush in real trouble

Tue, 05/08/2007 - 3:26pm
By: The Citizen


Anti-war Congressman John Murtha of Pennsylvania is prominent among some Democrats in his use of the “I” word — impeachment — about President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Murtha made his comments on CBS’s “Face the Nation” and elsewhere.

Few serious observers think things will ever get to actual impeachment. And yet the American public seems more open to the concept than many imagine, according to a new national poll. The implications of this public sentiment could be huge for the 2008 presidential elections.

Our InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion poll asked this:

“Would you favor or oppose the impeachment by Congress of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney?”

Favor: 39 percent.

Oppose: 55 percent.

Undecided/Don’t Know: 6 percent.

The survey of 621 registered voters has been weighted for age, race, gender and political affiliation. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.

About four out of 10 Americans favor impeaching the president and vice president. But the biggest news from this survey is not the overall results, but the opinions of independent voters, who usually decide presidential elections.

Forty-two percent of independents want Bush and Cheney impeached. These aren’t just voters who disapprove of the White House. Instead, they’re for initiating a process that could remove them from office.

To help put these startling numbers into perspective, I turned to the man most identified with the impeachment of Bill Clinton in the 1990s, former Congressman Bob Barr.

Recall that Barr initiated the Clinton impeachment process by filing what’s called an “Inquiry of Impeachment.” That’s a resolution that precedes an actual “Bill of Impeachment.” In the case of Clinton, it was filed long before anybody had heard of Monica Lewinsky.

Analyzing the InsiderAdvantage polling numbers, Barr said, “This indicates the surprising depth of dissatisfaction with Bush.

“I’m not sure we — [the leaders behind Clinton’s impeachment] — ever really had hard polling numbers in favor of impeachment that were this high when we were in the midst of the process. Perhaps, but I don’t recall it.”

Those few in the Democrat-controlled House who are advocating impeachment are on the fringe of political thought — at least for now. That’s probably justifiable. Their reasons for impeachment look specious.

Yet one can’t help but recall that Barr sounded like a lone voice in the wilderness when he first targeted Clinton. And one of his “charges” against President Clinton was the catchall accusation of “violation of oath of office.”

It’s not beyond consideration that what now seems silly political grandstanding could get much more serious, especially if the Iraq war continues to go badly, current scandals surrounding the attorney general or White House political adviser Karl Rove get worse, or new White House scandals emerge.

Be all that as it may, the main significance of this public opinion survey isn’t its potential predictive value regarding the careers of Bush and Cheney. Rather, the poll tells us that the Republican team readying to assume the party’s mantle when the presidential campaign kicks off in earnest in the summer of 2008 might be facing insurmountable odds.

Independent voters are the critical demographic in key swing states such as Florida and Ohio. We track this segment of voters carefully throughout presidential contests, and we know it well. Having no true party alliance, independents can drift into either side’s camp and thereby elect the president.

The fact that such a large percentage of these voters are willing to support something as drastic as the impeachment of the president and vice president tells me that the depth of the irritation with the president over his handling of the war, and over his political tin ear when (not) listening to the public’s rising discontent, is becoming a powerful political force in itself.

Having been close to former Speaker Newt Gingrich when his Republican-majority House of Representatives pushed for the impeachment of a president, I can vouch that pursuit of impeachment can be tricky enough to backfire on those who initiate it.

That’s why I don’t expect current Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California to allow the nascent impeachment movement to grow much larger.

Nevertheless, the astounding public sentiment expressed in this poll illustrates just how far Bush and Cheney may have set their party back.

[Matt Towery served as the chairman of former Speaker Newt Gingrich’s political organization from 1992 until Gingrich left Congress. He is a former Georgia state representative, the author of several books and currently heads the polling and political information firm InsiderAdvantage.] COPYRIGHT 2007 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

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RetiredArmyMAJ's picture
Submitted by RetiredArmyMAJ on Thu, 05/10/2007 - 5:08pm.

Impeachment isn't conduted by polls, one has to break the law, like Clinton.

Sometimes doing the right thing isn't popular. I don't want soldiers to die, but I also want terrorists beaten. It is called doing the hard right rather than the easy wrong. It is Character and leadership.

Poll the USMC and see how popular Jack Murtha is.

We are fighting this war on terrorism now because Clinton did NOTHING for 8 years, but boy was he popular!

Just my humble opinion, you have your right to your own.

Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Thu, 05/10/2007 - 6:27pm.

I personally think the Iraq war is Nixon's fault instead of Clinton, as you say.
George Washington comes in a close second for blame, but it is Nixon!
Nixon made a sham out of Viet Nam by not listening to the right
generals and lost the war.
Washington, on the other hand, started the name "George," which has been a handicap ever since. Also, he just about froze everyone to death after crossing that river.
I know this doesn't make much sense to people like you, but it is as clear to me as your thoughts!

maximus's picture
Submitted by maximus on Thu, 05/10/2007 - 5:28pm.

Count me as one Marine who thinks that Murtha is an embarrassing, worthless POS.


Basmati's picture
Submitted by Basmati on Thu, 05/10/2007 - 2:57pm.

39% of Americans would like to see President Bush impeached.

Only 32% of Americans ever wanted to see President Clinton impeached.

Bush's popularity this week dropped to 28%, lower than it ever was under President Carter, and inching ever closer to Nixon's Watergate low of 23%.

Yet George Bush continues to lie, and troops continue to die.

Mixer's picture
Submitted by Mixer on Thu, 05/10/2007 - 5:13pm.

Tell me, better yet, show me where George W. Bush lied to the American people.

If 39% want him impeached - that means 61% do not- correct?

What would be the impeachable offense?

"As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (Democrat, California)
Statement on US Led Military Strike Against Iraq
December 16, 1998

Bush was a governor when she said this - so where did she hear this?

Is there bias on the war coverage? Click Here

Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Thu, 05/10/2007 - 6:46pm.

I'll just give you one of a pattern of lies.

"Bought yellowcake from Africa," from AFRICA, Africa, I say.

Mixer's picture
Submitted by Mixer on Thu, 05/10/2007 - 7:03pm.

You mean this one:

"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

Vice President Dick Cheney, along with Tenet (CIA Chief appointed by Clinton in 1997) and others maintain that the statement is factually correct since it is sourced to the British government, which stands behind the claim, asserting that its intelligence is not based on the alleged forged Niger documents that are used as a basis to challenge the assertion.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw recently stated that "the dossier's statement was based on reliable intelligence which we had not shared with the U.S." He added that "the JIC's (Joint Intelligence Committee) assessment of Iraq's efforts to reconstitute its nuclear program did not rest on the attempted acquisition of yellowcake alone."

Here- CNN, I know how much you liberals like CNN:

LONDON, England (CNN) -- Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has defended Britain's decision to include in its first Iraqi dossier claims that Saddam Hussein tried to get uranium from Africa.

Not even a close call dollarboy – try again. Ouch.

Here is another opinion too:

More proof the Democrats and the press lie about what Bush has said

Is there bias on the war coverage? Click Here

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