Majority of Americans back impeachment investigation: poll

A slim majority of Americans back House Democrats' impeachment investigation into President TrumpDonald John TrumpFlorida GOP lawmaker says he's 'thinking' about impeachment Democrats introduce 'THUG Act' to block funding for G-7 at Trump resort Kurdish group PKK pens open letter rebuking Trump's comparison to ISIS MORE, according to a new poll, the latest in a series of surveys showing rising support for the congressional inquiry.

The NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll released Thursday finds that 52 percent of Americans support the House formally launching the inquiry, while 43 percent disapprove.

The poll found an uptick in support for the impeachment inquiry compared to a survey by the outlets two weeks ago in which 49 percent approved and 46 percent disapproved.

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The rise in support comes largely on the strength of Independents, who now support the probe by a 54-41 margin. The same group opposed the investigation two weeks ago, with only 44 percent approving and 50 percent disapproving.

While support grows for the House investigation into Trump, backing for impeaching the president and removing him from office is narrower — Americans are split 49 percent to 47 percent on whether he should be impeached, while there's a 48-48 percent split on whether the Senate should vote to oust him.

“There’s a danger point in this for the White House, but also some danger points for Democrats in Congress, because people are not convinced this is the way to go,” Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, told NPR

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCummings to lie in state at the Capitol House Republicans 'demand the release of the rules' on impeachment Overnight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union —Dem wants more changes to Pelosi drug pricing bill | Ebola outbreak wanes, but funding lags | Johnson & Johnson recalls batch of baby powder after asbestos traces found MORE (D-Calif.) announced last month that the House would open a formal impeachment investigation into the president over his dealings with Ukraine. The heart of the probe centers around a July 25 phone call in which Trump pushed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump knocks Romney as 'Democrat secret asset' in new video Giuliani asked State Dept. to grant visa for ex-Ukraine official at center of Biden allegations: report Perry won't comply with subpoena in impeachment inquiry MORE, a chief political rival, over unfounded corruption allegations.

A declassified copy of a whistleblower complaint regarding the call said that a future phone call or meeting between the two presidents “would depend on whether Zelensky showed willingness to ‘play ball,’” and that “multiple White House officials with direct knowledge” of the call were alarmed that Trump appeared to be using his office for his personal political gain and sought to bury the transcript of the conversation.

Trump has repeatedly defended his call as "perfect" while going after the U.S. intelligence official who filed the whistleblower complaint and asserting they were biased against him, claims that lawyers for the whistleblower have dismissed.

Democrats have pointed to the decision to block congressionally approved aid to Ukraine days before the Trump call as evidence that Trump may have abused his power to leverage the aid in an attempt to pressure Zelensky to comply with his request.

While just over half of Americans support the House’s impeachment investigation, 68 percent — including 40 percent of Republicans — said it’s improper to ask a foreign country's leader for help investigating a potential political opponent.

The poll also found that 61 percent of Americans said Trump does not share the moral values by which most Americans try to live.

The latest survey reflects a trend among recent polls showing rising support for the House’s investigation, driven largely by Independents and Republicans. 

FiveThirtyEight’s average of polls shows support for impeachment among Republicans increasing from 8 percent last month to 13.7 percent and support among Independents jumping from 33.9 percent to 43.3 percent. 

“This is becoming a serious liability for the president and for the Republicans who remain with him,” Democratic strategist Andrew Feldman told The Hill

The NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey polled 1,123 Americans from Oct. 3-8 and has a margin of error of 3.4 percent.