Fox News poll: Half of Americans say Trump should be convicted and removed

Half of Americans say the Senate should vote to convict and remove President TrumpDonald John TrumpWinners and losers from the South Carolina debate Five takeaways from the Democratic debate Democrats duke it out in most negative debate so far MORE from office, according to a new Fox News poll

The survey, which was released Sunday and conducted as the Senate impeachment trial began in earnest, found that 50 percent of Americans think the Senate should vote to convict and remove Trump, while 44 percent believe the upper chamber should not vote to remove the president. 

Opinions on impeachment and removal break strongly along partisan lines. Eighty-one percent of Democrats say Trump should be removed from office, while 84 percent of Republicans say he shouldn't. A majority of independent voters (53 percent) think Trump should be removed, while just 34 percent say he should not. 

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The numbers stand in contrast to when the impeachment trial of former President Clinton began in January 1999. Around the beginning of the trial, 38 percent of Americans said Clinton should be removed. In addition, 65 percent of Americans said at the time that they approved of the job Clinton was doing as president. 

Trump's approval rating has remained steady at 45 percent amid the impeachment proceedings. Fox News noted that his approval rating hit a new high of 91 percent among Republicans in its most recent survey.

The House voted to impeach Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress following an inquiry into the president's dealings with Ukraine. Trump is accused of using nearly $400 million in military aid and the promise of a White House meeting as leverage in his push to get Ukraine to announce politically advantageous investigations. 

Led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffOcasio-Cortez: Trump would 'never' say to her face some of the shots he takes at her on Twitter John Ratcliffe back under consideration by Trump for top intel job Trump says he wants 'no help from any country' in 2020 election MORE (D-Calif.), Democrats opened their case for Trump's removal in the Senate trial last week. In arguments spanning 24 hours over three days, Democrats emphasized that Trump abused "his authority as commander in chief and chief diplomat to benefit himself.”

Trump's defense began its arguments Saturday, portraying Democrats' efforts as an attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election. 

The Fox News poll is in line with recent surveys on Trump's impeachment and whether the Senate should remove him. A CNN poll released just days before Democrats began making their arguments found that 51 percent of Americans supported removing Trump from office. A Pew Research Center survey from last week also found a majority approving of Trump's removal. 

The Fox News poll was conducted between Jan. 19 and Jan. 22 among 1,005 randomly chosen registered voters. It has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.