By a margin of 50% to 44%, Americans want Congress to consider impeaching President Bush if he lied about the war in Iraq, according to a new poll commissioned by AfterDowningStreet.org, a grassroots coalition that supports a Congressional investigation of President Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003.
The poll was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, the highly-regarded non-partisan polling company. The poll interviewed 1,001 U.S. adults on October 6-9.
The poll found that 50% agreed with the statement:
"If President Bush did not tell the truth about his reasons for going to war with Iraq, Congress should consider holding him accountable by impeaching him."
44% disagreed, and 6% said they didn't know or declined to answer. The poll has a +/- 3.1% margin of error.
Among those who felt strongly either way, 39% strongly agreed, while 30% strongly disagreed.
"The results of this poll are truly astonishing," said AfterDowningStreet.org co-founder Bob Fertik. "Bush's record-low approval ratings tell just half of the story, which is how much Americans oppose Bush's policies on Iraq and other issues. But this poll tells the other half of the story - that a solid plurality of Americans want Congress to consider removing Bush from the White House."
Impeachment Supported by Majorities of Many Groups
Responses varied by political party affiliation: 72% of Democrats favored impeachment, compared to 56% of Independents and 20% of Republicans.
Responses also varied by age and income. Solid majorities of those under age 55 (54%), as well as those with household incomes below $50,000 (57%), support impeachment.
Majorities favored impeachment in the Northeast (53%), West (51%), and even the South (50%).
Support for Impeachment Surged Since June
The Ipsos poll shows a dramatic transformation in support for Bush's impeachment since late June. (This is only the second poll that has asked Americans about their support for impeaching Bush in 2005, despite his record-low approval ratings.) The Zogby poll conducted June 27-29 of 905 likely voters found that 42% agreed and 50% disagreed with a statement virtually identical to the one used by Ipsos Public Affairs.
In August and September of 1998, 16 major polls asked about impeaching President Clinton (http://democrats.com/clinton-impeachment-polls). Only 36% supported hearings to consider impeachment, and only 26% supported actual impeachment and removal. Even so, the impeachment debate dominated the news for months, and the Republican Congress impeached Clinton despite overwhelming public opposition.