As we've repeatedly noted, Fox News polling is well regarded. FiveThirtyEight gives this poll an A-. As I’ve also noted, Fox News reporting on its polls is a different matter. So it’s always worth digging into the raw statistics and not relying on ledes such as this one on FoxNews.com:
Weeks of congressional hearings and debate have failed to move the electorate on impeachment, according to the latest Fox News Poll. At the same time, approval of President Trump’s job performance has climbed three points.
That’s basically true but it fails to mention that a majority of Americans still support impeachment. A graphic shows that in late October 49% supported impeaching Trump without removal whereas 4% supported impeachment and removal. Now, 50% support impeaching without removal while support for impeachment and removal remains at 4%.
You have to wade past the first seven paragraphs and two graphics to find the really bad news for Trump:
Overall, 53 percent of voters believe Trump abused the power of his office, 48 percent think he obstructed Congress, and 45 percent say he committed bribery [vs. 38, 34 and 37%, respectively, who thought not].
In addition, 47 percent believe Trump held up military aid to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate his political rivals. [29% believe not and 24% don't know]
By a 60-24 percent margin, voters say it is generally wrong for Trump to ask leaders of foreign countries to investigate political rivals.
And the “everybody-does-it” defense falls flat: only about one in five, 22 percent, think presidents typically ask leaders of foreign countries to investigate domestic political rivals. Among Republicans, 33 percent think that is common behavior.
However, impeachment supporters should not be too complacent. And to be fair to Fox, the article did not mention that the 47 percent who believe Trump held up military aid to pressure Ukraine is down from 52% in late October.
But there are some very good findings for progressive presidential candidates: Strong majorities favor a wealth tax, allowing Americans to buy into Medicare, making minor changes to Obamacare but leaving the law in place, and legalizing marijuana. But Americans oppose getting rid of private health insurance and moving to a “government-run health care system for everyone” by 53-41%.
And there’s one more piece of bad news for Trump: Americans oppose a border wall by 52-44%. But that is down from 55-42% since June, though the change is within the 3% margin of error.
The problem is in all likelihood the Democrats will pass the process off to the Republicans who will turn it into a real s—t show. While I can’t stand #MoscowMitch he’s no fool and is as skilled at managing the Senate as Pelosi is the House. Polls could swing. I’m starting to wonder the nascent movement calling to vote for impeachment but striking the final clause forwarding it to the Senate isn’t right.