(PRWEB) October 29, 2005
By a margin of 50% to 44%, Americans say that President Bush should be impeached if he lied about the war in Iraq, according to a new poll conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, the highly-regarded non-partisan polling company. The poll interviewed 1,001 U.S. adults on October 8-9.
The poll found that 50% agreed with the following 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.
Forty four percent disagreed, and 6% said they didn't know or declined to answer. The poll has a +/- 3.1% margin of error.
The poll was commissioned by AfterDowningStreet.org, a grassroots coalition that supports a Congressional investigation of President Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003. "The results of this poll are truly astonishing," said AfterDowningStreet.org co-founder Bob Fertik, "… 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, income and region. 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.
After the June poll, pollster John Zogby told the Washington Post that support for impeachment "was much higher than I expected." At the time, impeachment supporters trailed opponents by 8%. Now supporters outnumber opponents by 6%, a remarkable shift of 14%.
Support for Clinton Impeachment Was Much Lower
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.
Impeachment Support is Closely Related to Belief that Bush Lied about Iraq
Both the Ipsos and Zogby polls asked about support for impeachment if Bush lied about the reasons for war, rather than asking simply about support for impeachment. Pollsters predict that asking simply about impeachment without any context would produce a large number of "I don't know" responses. However, this may understate the percentage of Americans who favor Bush's impeachment for other reasons, such as his slow response to Hurricane Katrina, his policy on torture, soaring gasoline prices, or other concerns.
Other polls show a majority of U.S. adults believe that Bush did in fact lie about the reasons for war. A June 23-26 ABC/Washington Post poll found 52% of Americans believe the Bush administration "deliberately misled the public before the war," and 57% say the Bush administration "intentionally exaggerated its evidence that pre-war Iraq possessed nuclear, chemical or biological weapons."
Passion for Impeachment is Major Unreported Story
The strong support for impeachment found in this poll is especially surprising because the views of impeachment supporters have been largely absent from mainstream broadcast and print media, and can only be found on the Internet and in street protests, including the large anti-war rally in Washington on September 24.
The lack of coverage of impeachment support is believed to be due in part to the fact no one in Congress has called for impeachment consideration, despite considerable grassroots activism by groups like Democrats.com http://democrats.com/impeach).
AfterDowningStreet.org has commissioned a second poll which is expected soon, and will continue to urge all polling organizations to include the impeachment question in their regular polls. If they do not, the organization will continue to commission regular impeachment polls.