Poll: 21 percent of GOP voters would prefer Pence as president

Two in 10 Republican voters say they would rather see Vice President Pence as the commander in chief, according to a new Hill-HarrisX poll.

The nationwide survey, released Wednesday, found that 79 percent of GOP voters favored President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE in the Oval Office, while 21 percent said they would prefer Pence.

Among Democratic voters, it was the exact opposite: 79 percent of Democrats said they would prefer Pence as president, compared to 21 percent who went with Trump.

Independents, meanwhile, were split over the issue, with 47 percent choosing Pence and 53 percent favoring Trump.

The survey comes as the battle over the impeachment inquiry heats up in Washington.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Graham: 'Stupid' for Trump to ask China to investigate Biden Turkey sanctions face possible wall in GOP Senate MORE (R-S.C.) on Wednesday said Senate Republicans won't impeach Trump over his communications with Ukraine because they didn’t warrant an impeachable offense.

"They're about to destroy the nation for no good reason," Graham told Fox News, referring to House Democrats and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTurkey sanctions face possible wall in GOP Senate Trump lashes out at Pelosi as she visits Jordan to discuss Syria Thomas D'Alesandro III, brother of Nancy Pelosi, dies at 90 MORE (D-Calif.).

"And I want Nancy Pelosi to know that Republican senators are not going to impeach this president based on this transcript," he added.

House Democrats have centered their impeachment inquiry on Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. According to notes of the call released by the White House, Trump attempted to withhold aid to Ukraine in order to pressure Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Graham: 'Stupid' for Trump to ask China to investigate Biden Romney: Republicans don't criticize Trump because they fear it will help Warren MORE and his son Hunter Biden.

The White House, meanwhile, has maintained that it would not cooperate with the House’s impeachment inquiry, accusing Democrats of making “legally unsupported demands” and violating the Constitution.

The Hill-HarrisX poll was conducted online among 1,000 registered voters Oct. 6-7. The margin of error for the full sampling is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

—Tess Bonn