William Cummings, USA TODAY
Published 12: 26 p.m. ET Dec. 15, 2019 | Updated 11: 03 a.m. ET Dec. 16, 2019
About half of registered voters say that President Donald Trump should be removed from office and that if he survives the impeachment effort, he’ll have a tough time beating the Democratic candidate in the 2020 election, according to a FOX News poll released Sunday.
The poll was conducted Dec. 8-11, a week before the House is to vote on articles of impeachment against Trump.
The poll found that 50% of registered voters say Trump should be impeached in the House, convicted in the Senate and removed from office. Forty-one percent say the House should vote against impeaching the president and 4% say he should be impeached but not removed from office. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Despite months of testimony from witnesses and congressional debate, those numbers are almost identical to the ones Fox News’ pollsters found when the allegations against Trump surfaced. A poll conducted in early October found 51% said Trump should be removed, 40% said he should not be impeached and 4% said he should be impeached but not removed. A poll later that month found the numbers to be 49%, 41% and 4%, respectively.
Though the Fox News poll released Sunday found Trump’s job approval rating ticked up to 45% from 42% at the end of October, it shows the president losing in hypothetical matchups against the top-polling Democratic candidates.
Registered voters say they would vote for former Vice President Joe Biden over Trump, 48%-41%, which reflects a slight improvement for Trump from the end of October when Biden led him 51%-39%.
If the Democratic candidate is Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, the race appears much tighter: Trump loses by a single percentage point, 46%-45%. That’s an improvement for Trump from the end of October when he trailed her 46%-41% and from the beginning of that month, when Fox News said he’d lose to her 50%-40%.
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The poll says Trump would trail Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, 49%-43%, and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg by 1 point, 43%-42%.
Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, a late entrant in the race, also tops Trump in the poll, 45%-40%.
Biden, who has led every national Fox News poll dating back to March, continued to lead the Democratic field with 30% of Democratic primary and caucus voters saying they hope he is the nominee. Sanders is second at 20%, followed by Warren – who had been second in three of the previous four Fox News polls – at 13%. Buttigieg is fourth at 7% and Bloomberg ties for fifth with Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota at 5%. The rest of the candidates come in at 3% or less.
Asked how certain they are of their vote, 50% of Democratic voters say they will “definitely” vote for the candidate they decided upon, and 49% say they may change their mind.
Among Democratic voters, Biden is seen as the candidate most likely to beat Trump in 2020: 77% say he could get the job done, up from 68% at the end of October. Sixty-percent say Sanders could win, 59% say Warren could do it and 55% say Bloomberg could come out on top. Buttigieg is seen as the least likely to beat Trump at 48%, but that’s up from 30% in the previous poll.
More than half of all registered voters say Sanders and Warren’s positions are too liberal, and about a third say the same thing about Biden, Bloomberg and Buttigieg.
Last week, the Democrat-controlled House Judiciary Committee approved two articles of impeachment against Trump charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Fifty-three percent of voters agree that Trump abused his power, and 38% say he did not. Forty-eight percent say he obstructed Congress, and 34% say he did not.
Trump is accused of withholding military aid to pressure Ukraine into opening two investigations that stood to benefit him politically. One of them was into Biden’s son Hunter and his role on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.
Sixty-percent say it was “inappropriate” for Trump to ask a foreign country to investigate allegations against a political rival, down from 64% in the previous survey. Forty-seven percent say Trump leveraged the military aid to get Ukraine to investigate a political rival, down from 52%.
When asked how troubled they are by the allegations against Hunter Biden, 22% say they are “extremely” troubled, 15% say they are “very” troubled, 24% are “somewhat” troubled and 30% do not find the allegations troubling at all.
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