Poll: Americans Favor Bush's Impeachment If He Lied about Iraq

zimv20

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Jul 18, 2002
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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.

(more)
 

mactastic

macrumors 68040
Apr 24, 2003
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~loserman~ said:
Basically the same as it does right now. There will not be more than 3 or 4 seat gains by the Democrats.
That's a bold prediction this far out. Lots of things can change between now and then. Things could swing the other way and the GOP could pick up seats. Who knows at this point.
 

Thomas Veil

macrumors 68020
Feb 14, 2004
2,435
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OBJECTIVE reality
On the one hand, even if it never comes to impeachment, it's good news that the public finally seems to be waking up.

On the other hand, what do they mean if he lied about Iraq? Short of Bush coming out and admitting it (riiiiiiiight), I think we've got as much proof as we're going to get.
 

crdean1

macrumors 6502a
Feb 14, 2005
675
1
Texas
Give me a break, nice poll. Wow, they interviewed 1,000 people. And made one statement.

The statement was:

"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."

Leading the witness anyone.........

I object!
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,915
1,466
Palookaville
crdean1 said:
Give me a break, nice poll. Wow, they interviewed 1,000 people. And made one statement.

The statement was:

"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."

Leading the witness anyone.........

I object!
How would you have worded the question?
 

mactastic

macrumors 68040
Apr 24, 2003
3,647
661
Colly-fornia
crdean1 said:
Give me a break, nice poll. Wow, they interviewed 1,000 people. And made one statement.

The statement was:

"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."

Leading the witness anyone.........

I object!
It's not a statement, it's a question. And did you realize that most polls are conducted using 1000 people? That's the threshhold for getting to that +/- 3% number you always see on polling. Lower than 1000 and your uncertainty rises quickly, however since IIRC it's a logarithmic calculation you need to get up to like 10,000 people to get your uncertainty down another one point. IOW, it's a diminishing return kind of thing.

Besides, if you know anything about polling, it's getting the representative sample right that's the real trick. If they did that, the results are probably very close to the population's actual numbers. If they didn't, then it's useless no matter how many people they ask.

Complaining about a 1000 person sample size just shows your ignorance of the statistical polling process.
 

crdean1

macrumors 6502a
Feb 14, 2005
675
1
Texas
"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."

You are right mactastic, I don't fully understand the guidelines to polling, and I won't claim to. I just do not see how he can say the above from that conclusion.

My understanding of polling is that this type of polling is leading, these yes or no statements. It really doesn't give you an accurate view of how someone feels about the situation, particularly most Americans.
 

mactastic

macrumors 68040
Apr 24, 2003
3,647
661
Colly-fornia
crdean1 said:
"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."

You are right mactastic, I don't fully understand the guidelines to polling, and I won't claim to. I just do not see how he can say the above from that conclusion.

My understanding of polling is that this type of polling is leading, these yes or no statements. It really doesn't give you an accurate view of how someone feels about the situation, particularly most Americans.
Polling pretty much has to rely on categorizing answers into 'baskets' that can be labeled. Without that, few conclusions can be drawn. Sure they could have asked 'What do you think about President Bush?' and given people blank sheets of paper to write their responses on, but that kind of polling doesn't lead to very definitive answers. Sometimes this kind of polling is done, but usually only on questions that are very specific such as 'What do you think is the most important issue facing Americans today'. But without 'checking the box' by the answer most appropriate for you there is little way to get more than a handful of matching opinions. I think if you look, you'll also see that there were degrees of importance attached to the answers (ie. strongly agree, agree, don't know, disagree, strongly disagree). These further help break down the intensity of the feeling being polled. Respondents are also asked for their political affiliation, their rough income and education levels, and their gender at a very minimum. This further helps analyze what portions of the population are feeling what.

You also have to remember that polls are commissioned by people who are paying to find out about specific things. If you paid me to poll people about how they felt regarding impeachment if Bush lied about the Iraq war and I went out and and asked 'What do you think about Bush?' you might feel like I didn't do the job you paid me for.

There are partisan polls, and there are others that are considered more neutral. There is internal polling, never meant to be released publicly (which sometimes are leaked), and there are other polls that are designed to be released to the public. There are pollsters who are more accurate than others. Ultimately it's all a guessing game, but some are better at it than others. Like I said earlier, it's the representative sample that's the real trick. The process that goes into that is what separates they good pollsters from the rest.

Polling is a very interesting branch of statistics. I suggest you read up a little bit on it, if for no other reason than it's some really neat stuff if you like that kind of thing. Look at the formulas for determining error. Find out what the difference between a high and a low Standard Deviation means. Look at the shifting of the normal curve, the use of other curves besides the normal. Statistics really is some cool stuff.

Personally though, I think too many politicians make decisions based on polls, and thus I lie to every pollster I meet. I figure if enough people do this the politicians might just have to revert to having their own opinions again. ;)
 

crdean1

macrumors 6502a
Feb 14, 2005
675
1
Texas
I'll be taking Statistics next semester. I wonder if they will cover some of that.

Agreed that politicians make too many decisions based on factors other than their educated opinions.
 

katchow

macrumors 6502
Feb 14, 2002
457
0
Dayton, Ohio
It sounds like the Clinton polls were taken after he had admitted to having relations with Monica? I just don't understand the comparison. Here, there's that looming 'if' part. Until you can prove that he lied what use are hypothetical polls?
 

crdean1

macrumors 6502a
Feb 14, 2005
675
1
Texas
Let's think about this for a minute. It's no secret that several Dems voted for this war, and have since turned out to be some of Bush's biggest critics regarding the handling of it (rightly so, as have I in some cases).

I would not think that they voted to invade just because Bush said so. Even Clinton said while he was in office that "either Saddam needed to disarm, or Iraq is known to have WMD's", I can't remember specifically which it was.

Surely these fence jumpers were privy to more info. than just GWB's word, or they would not have voted yes.

Sooo....would you guys say that GDub made all of this up just to get the green light to pull the trigger.

I guess with this poll, I thought we were past this already. Seems like we are rehashing a very old debate.
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,915
1,466
Palookaville
crdean1 said:
Let's think about this for a minute. It's no secret that several Dems voted for this war, and have since turned out to be some of Bush's biggest critics regarding the handling of it (rightly so, as have I in some cases).

I would not think that they voted to invade just because Bush said so. Even Clinton said while he was in office that "either Saddam needed to disarm, or Iraq is known to have WMD's", I can't remember specifically which it was.

Surely these fence jumpers were privy to more info. than just GWB's word, or they would not have voted yes.

Sooo....would you guys say that GDub made all of this up just to get the green light to pull the trigger.

I guess with this poll, I thought we were past this already. Seems like we are rehashing a very old debate.
I don't believe we are rehashing an old debate so much as discussing the change in public opinion.
 

katchow

macrumors 6502
Feb 14, 2002
457
0
Dayton, Ohio
IJ Reilly said:
I don't believe we are rehashing an old debate so much as discussing the change in public opinion.
if asked before the war in iraq, "would you favor impeachment if Bush lied about getting us into a war" would the numbers be that different?
 

skunk

macrumors G4
Jun 29, 2002
11,745
3,997
Republic of Ukistan
crdean1 said:
Sooo....would you guys say that GDub made all of this up just to get the green light to pull the trigger.
Without being privy to all the facts of the case, I believe it would be safe to say, at the very least, that when a contentious war is contemplated, even the President of the United States - especially the President - has a duty not only to his country, but to humanity, to err on the side of caution, if he must err at all. George Bush failed in that duty, as did Tony Blair.
 

zimv20

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 18, 2002
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nice summary, mac. i'll only add that another thing pollsters do is repeat the same poll over time to watch trends. from the original article:
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.